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Definition Essay - What is Wisdom?

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What is Wisdom?


If one asks the majority of people what the word wisdom means, most will answer vaguely that it is the knowledge gained during a lifetime. However, wisdom is much more than just knowledge gained; it signifies the accumulation of knowledge, the application of learning, and the personification of God's will in the creation of the universe (according to the American Heritage Dictionary, 6th ed.).

The abstract nature of the word wisdom allows for broad interpretation of its context. To limit the vagueness of the definition, many interpret wisdom as the accumulation of knowledge. In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena was known for her wisdom. Additionally, the personification of animals as possessing wisdom also heavily influenced Greek lore. Owls, for example, are synonymous with wisdom; likewise, foxes, with their cunning nature and ability to outsmart their prey, are considered insightful animals. Age plays a prominent part in the accumulation of learning. In many societies the elderly receive top status as preservers of both culture and knowled...

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