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Wisdom of the ages

NUI Maynooth ePrints and eTheses Archive

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Title Wisdom of the ages
 
Creator Desmond, William
 
Subject Ancient Classics
Philosophy
 
Description Wisdom has many faces, but perhaps the most familiar would be that of an older man with a strong, kind face, a steady expression, a profound beard, and eyes at once serious and laughing. So Yeats imagined some Chinese sages — “their ancient eyes, their ancient, glittering eyes were gay.” So too we might imagine a Confucius, Moses, Socrates, or Einstein, and so film directors have played on old associations when depicting figures like Gandalf or Dumbledore. In anthropomorphizing wisdom as an older person, we are no different from the vast majority of cultures, as elders are usually considered wise: the grandparents, veterans, senators (from Latin senex), the ancestors who were there at the beginning of the tribe. “You cannot put a wise head on young shoulders” goes the Irish proverb, and so too we talk of “modern science” but of “ancient wisdom,” as if wisdom could best be found among those peoples whose civilizations matured over centuries, like the ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, or Greeks.
 
Publisher John Templeton Foundation
 
Date 2010
 
Type Article
PeerReviewed
 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier http://eprints.nuim.ie/1890/1/WDesmomdWisdom.pdf
Desmond, William (2010) Wisdom of the ages. In Character: a journal of everyday virtues . ISSN 1551-4919
 
Relation http://incharacter.org/features/wisdom-of-the-ages/
http://eprints.nuim.ie/1890/