“Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience”

From Salon:

Book Is there such a thing as wisdom — a thing, stuff, an abstract entity — or are there only wise individuals and wise actions and attitudes, these latter not exclusively the possession of the individuals in question given that even fools can sometimes be wise?

This question is a significant one, because it bears on the enterprise of “wisdom studies,” a parallel endeavour to the “happiness studies” now big in the neuropsychologically informed social sciences. (And there too the question has to be: Is there such a thing as happiness, or only happy individuals and happy times and experiences, the latter not the exclusive property of the individuals in question, given that even the gloomiest of us can occasionally be happy?) If you aim to study wisdom, or happiness, presumably in the hope of finding out how we can all be wiser and happier, you had better be clear about the object of study; and, as Stephen S. Hall's “Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience” shows, that is hard to do.

More here.