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Sophia and Phronesis in Psychology, Philosophy, and Traditional Wisdom INTRODUCTION

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Abstract

This issue of Research in Human Development was inspired by a previous issue in which the authors proposed a definition of wisdom that integrated sophia (transcendent wisdom) and phronesis (practical wisdom). This introduction briefly reviews the history of wisdom in the Near East and West, and wisdom's appearance in modern psychology, particularly in regard to the emphases on transcendent and practical wisdom. The articles in this issue are introduced, and the implications of a fuller understanding of transcendent wisdom for developing wisdom, and for wisdom research, are emphasized.

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... The differentiation between sophia and phronesis is made by Aristotle in Nichomachean Ethics. Trowbridge & Ferrari (2011) explained that wisdom as phronesis "is about making the best decision under the particular circumstances", whereas sophia "refers to the most perfect form of epistemic knowing" and not bounded by the particular context. ...
... knowledge) is also included here as it "is about making the best decision under the particular circumstances" (Trowbridge & Ferrari, 2011). ...
Thesis
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The thesis aims to gain a deeper understanding of the organisational moral development (OMD) phenomenon. Three specific issues have been identified that hinders from gaining a deeper understanding of OMD: lack of ontological foundation for interdisciplinarity, inadequate moral philosophy and lack of understanding on strategic renewal in the moral dimension. To this, the thesis provides an alternative view of OMD by synthesising three perspectives: the field of organisational learning (OL), the meta-theory of critical realism (CR), and the worldview of Islam. As a result, a framework called ‘organisational learning by hearts’ (OLH) is developed, founded upon sound ontological foundation for interdisciplinarity, with adequate moral philosophy and an understanding on moral strategic renewal process. At the centre of the framework is the ‘heart’, the knowing essence of human, and its potential to become moral, as well as immoral. This then affects the process of organisational development: the moral and wise individual would contribute towards the moral development of the organisation, whereas the immoral individual would contribute towards immoral development. Two extreme ends of OMD are also conceived: organisational moral learning (OML) and organisational immoral learning (OIL). The framework has uncovered various factors and processes that play a part in the overall OMD, and strategies have been developed to ensure moral development. However, the OLH framework is heavily conceptual in nature. An empirical study is thus conducted to enrich the framework with real-life illustration.
... Practical wisdom responds to life issues Theoretical wisdom is knowledge about life issues developed by intuitive insight, conceptual understanding, and transconceptual insight (Walsh, 2015) Thus theoretical wisdom is not necessarily learnt just by studying books but also non-rational means including perception and insight; the rational is not separated from the non-rational, intuitive, and emotive (Trowbridge & Ferrari, 2011) General knowledge of life and social decision-making-ability to give good advice, life knowledge, and life skills (Thomas et al., 2019) Theoretical wisdom is related to beliefs such as subordinating to monotheism and turning to the hereafter Practical wisdom is related to action and behaviour such as ordering people to pray, inviting to good behaviour, forbidding that which is bad and being patient in daily interactions Humility is vital for Self-Knowledge and Acknowledging the Limits of Our Own Knowledge Self-knowledge is essential for sagacity, but so too is deep, accurate insight and understanding of the central existential issues of life including sickness, suffering, and our own mortality (Ardelt & Jeste, 2018;Baltes & Staudinger, 2000);Webster et al., 2018) Humility is therefore an essential virtue (Walsh, 2015) Intellectual humility underpins the recognition of limits of own knowledge (Ardelt, 2008;Grossmann, 2017) Insight-the ability and desire to understand oneself and one's actions at a deep level (Thomas et al., 2019) Loqman's advice to his son included being humble Intellectual humility occurs by submitting to the word of God as passed down by tradition and handed on by Imams. Human knowledge is limited in contrast to Divine knowledge which is infinite Perspicacity Perspicacity connotes perceptual and cognitive clarity, discernment, and depth which result in deep, accurate insight. ...
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This paper considers how a Shi’a Islamic perspective of wisdom can inform contemporary business ethics theory. Given the growing business ethics literature that adopts an Islamic orientation, it is vital that Islamic tenets in a business context are established. Thus, this paper thoroughly researches the tenets of Shi’a wisdom theory using a hermeneutic analysis, guided also by Iranian theological scholars of ancient Persian and Arabic foundational texts, to provide a comprehensive explanation of the foundations of Shi’a faith relevant to business ethics. Having established the principles of Shi’a wisdom, we outline points of consonance and dissonance in comparison to the Western humanist, primarily Aristotelian, orientations to wisdom. Although identifying apparently irreconcilable differences, this analysis reveals important elements of Shi’a wisdom theory that can significantly invigorate and influence business ethics theory.
... Characterizations of wisdom in our scoping review reflect it as multidimensional and integrating practical, spiritual, transcendental, embodied, emotional, and psychological aspects that are reflected in studies focusing on wisdom in other fields (Ferrari & Weststrate, 2013;Glü ck & Bluck, 2013;Sternberg & Jordan, 2005;Trowbridge & Ferrari, 2011). Due to wisdom's ineffability (Aldwin, 2009), it may offer a concept that might circulate between and around such dualities as clinician/patient perspectives, psychological/spiritual concepts (Brennan, 2006;Salander, 2015;Wein, 2014), and transcendent/practical dimensions (Wink & Helson, 1997) in the search for a more integrative bio-psycho-spiritual paradigm (Breitbart & Alici, 2009;Chochinov, 2003;Holland, 2009;Sulmasy, 2002). ...
... Characterizations of wisdom in our scoping review reflect it as multidimensional and integrating practical, spiritual, transcendental, embodied, emotional, and psychological aspects that are reflected in studies focusing on wisdom in other fields (Ferrari & Weststrate, 2013;Glü ck & Bluck, 2013;Sternberg & Jordan, 2005;Trowbridge & Ferrari, 2011). Due to wisdom's ineffability (Aldwin, 2009), it may offer a concept that might circulate between and around such dualities as clinician/patient perspectives, psychological/spiritual concepts (Brennan, 2006;Salander, 2015;Wein, 2014), and transcendent/practical dimensions (Wink & Helson, 1997) in the search for a more integrative bio-psycho-spiritual paradigm (Breitbart & Alici, 2009;Chochinov, 2003;Holland, 2009;Sulmasy, 2002). ...
Article
Objective: The concept of "wisdom" is beginning to emerge in the oncology literature, raising questions concerning: (1) how the concept of wisdom is used in oncology literature; (2) the ways in which wisdom has been a focus of inquiry within oncology care; and (3) how wisdom is characterized when the term is used. Method: A scoping review, using Arksey and O'Malley's five-step framework, was undertaken to address these questions. In consultation with oncology reference librarians, "wisdom"- and "oncology"-related search terms were identified, and four electronic databases were searched: CINAHL, SocINDEX, PubMed, and PsychINFO. After removal of duplicates and application of inclusion and exclusion criteria, 58 records were identified and included for analysis. Results: The concept of wisdom was employed with a breadth of meanings, and 58 records were schematized into 7 genres, including: (1) empirical research with wisdom foregrounded as a study focus (n = 2); (2) empirical research articles where "wisdom" appears in the findings (n = 16); (3) a quality-improvement project where wisdom is an embedded concept (n = 1); (4) essays where wisdom is an aspect of the discussion (n = 5); (5) commentary/opinion pieces where wisdom is an aspect of its focus (n = 6); (6) personal stories describing wisdom as something gleaned from lived experience with cancer (n = 2); and (7) everyday/taken-for-granted uses of wisdom (n = 26). Significance of results: The notion of wisdom has a taken-for-granted presence in the published oncology literature and holds promise for future research into patient and clinician wisdom in oncology care. Nonetheless, the terminology is varied and unclear. A scholarly focus on wisdom has not been brought to bear in cancer care to the degree it has in other fields, and research is in the early stages. Various characterizations of wisdom are present. If such a resource as "wisdom" exists, dwelling in human experiences and practices, there may be benefit in recognizing wisdom as informing the epistemologies of practice in oncology care.
... These privileged forms of knowing are based on epistêmê, and on nous as intellectual intuition, for gaining knowledge about necessary and eternal first principles or first causes as the highest form of intelligibility, using formal logic and mathematical calculation, seeking the excellence of or participating in the divine. For a complete understanding of wisdom along phrónêtic dimensions, 'sophían elements', like cosmic and intuitive knowing, may also need to be included (Trowbridge and Ferrari 2011). Moreover, Baehr very recently (2012) showed convingly how theoretical and practical wisdom are conceptually and practically intertwined. ...
... These privileged forms of knowing are based on epistêmê, and on nous as intellectual intuition, for gaining knowledge about necessary and eternal first principles or first causes as the highest form of intelligibility, using formal logic and mathematical calculation, seeking the excellence of or participating in the divine. For a complete understanding of wisdom along phrónêtic dimensions, 'sophían elements', like cosmic and intuitive knowing, may also need to be included (Trowbridge and Ferrari 2011). Moreover, Baehr very recently (2012) showed convingly how theoretical and practical wisdom are conceptually and practically intertwined. ...
... These privileged forms of knowing are based on epistêmê, and on nous as intellectual intuition, for gaining knowledge about necessary and eternal first principles or first causes as the highest form of intelligibility, using formal logic and mathematical calculation, seeking the excellence of or participating in the divine. For a complete understanding of wisdom along phrónêtic dimensions, 'sophían elements', like cosmic and intuitive knowing, may also need to be included (Trowbridge and Ferrari 2011). Moreover, Baehr very recently (2012) showed convingly how theoretical and practical wisdom are conceptually and practically intertwined. ...
Book
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Reviews 'In a world of change and escalating risk, this book on practical wisdom offers new vision and hope. It is based in the best of human nature, and draws on the forefront of innovative management scholarship, teaching, and practice today.' Ruth Richards, Saybrook University and Harvard Medical School, USA and editor of Everyday Creativity and New Views of Human Nature 'Practical Wisdom is slowly becoming one of the more important issues in contemporary management thinking and this excellent new book is an ideal introduction to the topic. Covering all of the many facets and dimensions of this type of wisdom, it has the merits of being very clearly written and exceptionally well researched. I cannot imagine anyone not intrigued by the subject after reading it and then trying to do something to increase their own practice of wisdom. Highly recommended.'Larry Prusak, Visiting Professor, Columbia University, USA
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This conceptual paper contributes to the study of moral and immoral organizational development by combining two different perspectives: organizational learning (OL) and the worldview of Islam. The OL perspective, particularly Crossan, Lane and White's (1999) 4I OL framework, outlines four sub-learning processes involved in strategic renewal spanning the individual, group and organizational levels. Then, the framework is recast in the light of the worldview of Islam, particularly on the natural connection between learning and moral development. From an Islamic perspective, knowledge is soteriological and plays a crucial role in the 'purification of the heart', i.e. individual moral development. However, corruption of knowledge can also occur, which then leads to corruption of the 'heart', i.e. individual immoral development. This then has profound implications for the 4I OL framework. As a result, a reconceptualized framework is conceived called 'OL by hearts', which outlines the strategic moral & immoral development of individuals, groups and the organization.
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Presentación del Dr. Roberto Esguerra Gutiérrez con motivo de la Primera “Conferencia Dr. Roberto Esguerra Gutiérrez”, dictada durante la inauguración del X Congreso SOLAMI – XXVI Congreso ACMI-ACP, Cartagena 18 de agosto de 2017 Tengo el honor de presentar al doctor Roberto Esguerra Gutiérrez. Honor bastante fácil de cumplir pues el Dr. Esguerra es una figura no solo bien conocida sino también bastante querida por todos aquellos, médicos y pacientes a la par, amigos y colaboradores, que hemos tenido la fortuna de trabajar con él; lo cual equivale, invariablemente, a aprender de él. Así que la presentación será breve
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The paper deals with the development and interdependence of entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility from a historical-genetical point of view.
Article
This article explores the nature of wisdom using an integrative cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary approach by drawing on contemporary research as well as the philosophical and contemplative disciplines of both East and West. To do this the article first analyzes definitional issues. These issues include difficulties of definition in general, and of wisdom in particular, the common elements and limitations of current definitions, as well as possible varieties or subtypes of wisdom. It then uses integrative definitions of wisdom and its major subtypes as a framework to investigate the characteristics, capacities, and components of wisdom; the varieties of self-knowledge that foster and constitute it; the perceptual, cognitive, and developmental processes essential to it; and the existential issues-for example, meaning, mystery, suffering, and death-that wisdom ponders and responds to. The article then examines wisdom's intimate link with other virtues, especially ethics and benevolence, and questions the claim that emotional regulation is an inherent element of wisdom, arguing instead that emotional regulation and wisdom are distinct, yet mutually facilitating virtues. Finally, the article provides evidence for the "self-demanding" nature of wisdom which implies that to understand it fully we may need to cultivate it ourselves.
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The articles in this issue are all based on the invited addresses given by the authors at the 2013 biennial meeting of the Society for the Study of Human Development. All of the authors address the unfolding paradigm shift in developmental sciences, from reductionism to relational developmental system theories. This theoretical stance involves the recognition of Individual ↔ context transactions, with multiple co-acting partners existing in dynamic relationships across the lifespan and life course. The articles address not only theoretical issues, but also methodological advances and their applications. While acknowledging the importance of new data collection and analytical techniques that permit the testing of more complex theoretical models, the articles demonstrate that well-designed questions from this theoretical perspective can also yield novel findings which are highly relevant to current real-world problems and social policy issues.
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While research indicates that humans tend potentially to develop towards wisdom in later years, a review of mainly participant-determined groups and courses in 338 lifelong learning centers for older people shows little interest in wisdom or personal development activities. With the suggestion that this apparent lack of interest may be partially owing to the lack of programs for cultivating wisdom, a model is presented that can be practised both independently and in formal education settings, and whose results can be assessed.
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Wisdom has received increasing attention in empirical research in recent years, especially in gerontology and psychology, but consistent definitions of wisdom remain elusive. We sought to better characterize this concept via an expert consensus panel using a 2-phase Delphi method. A survey questionnaire comprised 53 Likert scale statements related to the concepts of wisdom, intelligence, and spirituality was developed to determine if and how wisdom was viewed as being distinct from the latter 2 concepts. Of the 57 international wisdom experts contacted by e-mail, 30 completed the Phase 1 survey and 27 also completed the Phase 2 survey. In Phase 1, there were significant group differences among the concepts of wisdom, intelligence, and spirituality on 49 of the 53 items rated by the experts. Wisdom differed from intelligence on 46 of these 49 items, whereas wisdom differed from spirituality on 31 items. In Phase 2, we sought to define wisdom further by selecting 12 items based on Phase 1 results. Most experts agreed on many of the suggested characteristics of wisdom-that is, it is uniquely human; a form of advanced cognitive and emotional development that is experience driven; and a personal quality, albeit a rare one, which can be learned, increases with age, can be measured, and is not likely to be enhanced by taking medication. There was considerable agreement among the expert participants on wisdom being a distinct entity and a number of its characteristic qualities. These data should help in designing additional empirical research on wisdom.
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Self-transcendence has been hypothesized to be a critical component of wisdom (Curnow, 1999) and adaptation in later life (Tornstam, 1994). It reflects a decreasing reliance on externals for definition of the self, increasing interiority and spirituality, and a greater sense of connectedness with past and future generations. The Adult Self-Transcendence Inventory was administered to 351 individuals along with the NEO-FFI Personality Scale (McCrae & Costa, 1989). A principal axis factor analysis identified two factors: self-transcendence and alienation. The relationships between self-transcendence and neuroticism, openness to experience, extraversion, and agreeableness were significant, although modest, suggesting that self-transcendence cannot be accounted for in terms of positive personality traits alone. As expected, a multiple regression analysis indicated that self-transcendence was negatively related to neuroticism and positively related to meditation practice. The present study appears to lend support to the construct of self-transcendence.
Article
The West's sense of itself, its relation to its past, and its sense of its future have been profoundly altered since the 17th century as cognitive values generally have gradually come to be shaped around scientific ones. The issue is not just that science brought a new set of such values to the task of understanding the world and our place in it, but rather that it completely transformed the task, redefining the goals of enquiry. This is a distinctive feature of the development of a scientific culture in the West and it marks it out from other scientifically productive cultures. This book examines the first stage of this development, from the 13th-century introduction of Aristotelianism and its establishment of natural philosophy as the point of entry into systematic understanding of the world and our place in it, to the attempts to establish natural philosophy as a world-view in the wake of the Scientific Revolution. It offers a conceptual and cultural history of the emergence of a scientific culture in the West from the early-modern era to the present. Science in the modern period is treated as a particular kind of cognitive practice and as a particular kind of cultural product, with aim to show that if we explore the connections between these two, we can learn something about the concerns and values of modern thought that we could not learn from either of them taken separately.
Article
This expanded edition of a 1982 book by Erik Erikson summarizes his work on the stages of the human life cycle, including chapters on psychosexuality and the cycle of generations, major stages in psychosocial development, and ego and ethos. An additional chapter on the ninth stage sets forth his philosophy on old age--i.e. the 80s and 90s--and how persons in this age group integrate earlier stages and face the end of life. Two additional chapters and a preface by his wife, Joan Erikson, provide additional insights into the aging process and the final stages of life and include anecdotes about the couple's life together and their research. Contains 54 references. (KC)
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