Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Professional COMM 10/2: William James on Wisdom

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. ~ William James

William James is perhaps THE most influential American philosopher of his day (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910). His quote here is about the age old human goal of wisdom, which is defined by Dictionary.com as "the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight". Knowing that, how do you interpret James' quote? What does he mean when he says "knowing what to overlook"? We tend to think of life in terms of what's important, but James is seemingly telling us that a life of wisdom requires knowing what's not important. Do you agree? What types of things do you think he refers to, which should be overlooked?

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