Reflections on wisdom and participation

Comprehension enables us to wrap our minds around an object exterior to us and apart from us. Wisdom understands when a subject has wrapped itself around us, and responds by participating in that subject from within that subject’s interior. Wisdom knowingly takes part in what envelops, involves but transcends it — and does so without comprehending that in which it participates. Wisdom is responsive participation.

Some people view wisdom as a genre of objective information to comprehend. This is a category mistake. If wisdom speaks, its wisdom not in the wise things it says, but rather, in the wise way it responds within its particular subjective situation.

Wisdom moves a wise speech act; truth plays a supporting role.

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