Knowledge Vs. Wisdom

I am now reading an inspiring Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, a prominent psychiatrist of the 20th century and a Holocaust survivor. The book conveys a powerful message about the human search for meaning in life.

One of the author’s ideas that stand out in my mind most vividly is the distinction between knowledge and wisdom.

Let me quote Viktor Frankl here (translated from Russian):

Our scientists need something more than knowledge: they also need to have wisdom. And I define wisdom as knowledge combined with awareness of its limits.

“Knowledge combined with awareness of its limits” – isn’t that truly powerful?

A true scientist, scholar, or anyone who claims to have critical thinking must be always ready to change his point of view under the pressure of facts and evidence.

Most people are not ready to do that, as for them it is much more pleasant to know than to seek. Even people with strong intellect may get rigid in theirs views and answers.

Yet every knowledge is limited and reality always comes up with facts “not matching the theory”. In order to notice them, one just needn’t turn away.

To always feel the limits of your knowledge, your discourse, be always ready to review your theories due to new circumstances, be open to the unknown – this is what wisdom is.

I couldn’t agree more on this with Viktor Frankl.

To conclude with the author’s words, check out his famous short video below on the search for meaning. Perhaps this will serve as a motivation to check out his great book.

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