Book Review: Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience by Stephen S. Hall | Science News

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Book Review: Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience by Stephen S. Hall

Review by Rachel Zelkowitz

By
10:41am, July 16, 2010

Of all human attributes, wisdom is perhaps the most vaunted. Yet ask someone to define the trait and the answer will probably echo the test applied to obscenity in 1964: I know it when I see it.

In his latest book, Hall, a science writer, attempts to tackle the question of what defines wisdom and what science has learned to date about this elusive characteristic. What results is a comprehensive and thought-provoking book that examines the difficult topic of wisdom in a fair — even wise — manner.

Hall begins by surveying early attempts to understand wisdom, including biblical stories (think King Solomon) and the musings of ancient philosophers. He then fast-forwards to modern neuroscience’s take on
wisdom, where his model breaks wisdom down into eight major parts. These &ld

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