Wisdom: Advanced Creativity?

Book: Wisdom and Creativity in Education, edited by Anna Craft, Howard Gardner and Guy Claxton, to be published by Corwin Press, 2007.

Chapter: Wisdom: Advanced Creativity?

It would be very unwise to try and legislate for an agreed canonical meaning of such an ambiguous and contested term as 'wisdom', so I shall not try. All I can do in this short paper is to 

  • offer some guidelines for its exploration that I think might be productive; 

  • attempt to illustrate one legitimate - and I think core - sense of 'wisdom' through three short narratives;

  • extract from those some preliminary ideas about how wise action might be conceptualised in cognitive neuroscientific terms; and 

  • offer some speculations about how, on this analysis, the propensity for wise action might possible be cultivated through education. 

The main point to emerge will be the suggestion that 'wisdom' inheres not so much in a quality of thinking or cognition, but in the nature of the underlying 'motivational vector' that drives cognition.