Spring 2009 Wisdom Course Major Theoretical Questions

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  1. Can Wisdom be taught?
  2. Can kids be wise?
  3. What happens to wisdom in the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution?
  4. Is the philosophical wisdom of Plato an improvement over the Homeric model?
  5. What is the role of "embodiment" (the fact and implications of our existence in a body) in the pursuit of wisdom? Is the body primarily a hindrance to the accomplishment of wisdom?
  6. Is pain necessary for the achievement of wisdom?
  7. Is wisdom "ultimate knowledge" or is it practical know-how?
  8. Why do wisdom traditions typically seem to place wisdom "beyond" human experience?
  9. Does the Baltes rubric capture the nature of wisdom?
  10. Do Stoic, Epicurean, and Yogic strategies of adjusting the subject's orientation to the world hold promise for the cultivation of wisdom? How do these methods vary and overlap?
  11. Is the goal of Patanjali's Yoga achievable? Is it valuable as an approach to wisdom?
  12. How do the Spiritual Exercises engage similar methods as we found in Hellenism and Yoga? How is it uniquely connected to the Christian narrative of salvation?
  13. Does wisdom increase with age? Is there a wisdom for different stages of life? (recall the life stage psychologists)
  14. What is the psychological / causal connection between the various disciplines we have studied and claims made by adherents of those views about the goal the discipline?