Interesting Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom

Friday 8 August 2014 0 comments

Knowledge and wisdom might sound like synonyms since both refer to the mind and an accumulation of thoughts and experiences, but there are real differences in the actual application in our life.



There are different types of knowledge categorized in different manner by various people. We can have, for example, systemic knowledge, needed in order to get the square root of a given number. Semantic knowledge is another kind, that allows us to grasp the meaning of words. There is knowledge that comes through our senses, which is based on observation is known as empirical knowledge.

Knowledge can be deduced from some premises; it can be explicit or implicit. Its subject can be our inner self or the world around us. It can be a technique or even a fact, it can be distinct or diffuse and even noble or vile among many other ways. It could also be that knowledge is derived from ideas, as Plato postulated; or drawn for experience, as David Hume did.

 We can say that knowledge is some sort of awareness or an identification principle that gives us an account of what a thing is and its features. It is the material comprising the fabric of our understanding with which we wrap the world we inhabit. And it does not stop there! Because our understanding creates relationships between known things, our knowledge gets combined through the use of reason. All known things become an active part of our world view.

They get integrated into an interdependent network of approved facts that sustain our world. These beliefs are interconnected, forming our single and coherent view of what there is. It is, to put it in Quine’s words, The Web of Belief. Once a belief has been incorporated, it becomes a node that enriches further exploration on a similar subject. The integration of new insights happen while reviewing the useful things from previous ones.


With such a strong emphasis on this kind of education as a requirement for success in our current times, the division of the fields of research covers smaller fields by the day. Because of this, I think it is important to draw attention towards two very distinct kinds of knowledge.

The first one is erudition; characterized by the accumulation of information, it can be pictured as a large database, like a historian who has good memory and can recall the dates of many events. The second type of knowledge that I think is important to bring about, is wisdom. There are many ways in which this word is understood, I wish to specify mine.

Wisdom is a special kind of knowledge because its effect is the uplifting of our life and of those around us to a higher and better way of being. Opposed to erudition, wisdom is not characterized by having a bigger brain, but a bigger heart.

Wisdom is knowledge that is well aligned with its present circumstances, so the outcome is that of well-being. Transforming our sensible intentions and considerations into factual happiness, wisdom has the capacity to un-crook the crooked ways and shine light where there is none.
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