wisdom,humor and faith

19596 Words Jan 10th, 2014 79 Pages
WISDOM, HUMOR, AND FAITH: A HISTORICAL VIEW
Walter G. Moss
Table of Contents (with links)

Walter G. Moss 1
Table of Contents (with links) 1
Wisdom, Perspective, and Values 2
Humor’s Contribution to Wisdom 4
Humor and Wisdom in Europe: Some Highlights 5
Renaissance Humor: Erasmus, Rabelais, Cervantes, Shakespeare 5
Two European Russians: Anton Chekhov and Vladimir Soloviev 9
Reflections on Humor from Nietzsche to the Theatre of the Absurd 12
Humor and Wisdom in the United States: Lincoln, Beecher, Twain, Sandburg, and Buchwald 17 From The Times (of London) obituary on him (January 19, 2007) that mentioned his “wit and wisdom” in its title, available at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article1294342.ece. 24
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. . . The inner directedness that Maslow noted is a key feature of wisdom. It arises, in part, from acquiring new, more helpful perspectives.”2
Wise perspectives are dependent on wise values. As Macdonald has written, “Wise values express themselves in wise attitudes and wise ways of being and functioning.” Among the wise values he mentions that relate to perspective are creativity, serenity, humility, clarity about what is, empathy, insight, intuitive understanding, patience, reality, self-awareness, and truth.3
Another prominent wisdom researcher, Robert Sternberg, believes that “people are wise to the extent that they use their intelligence to seek a common good. They do so by balancing, in their courses of action, their own interests with those of others and those of larger entities, like their school, their community, their country, even God.” In fostering wisdom, Sternberg also thinks it is important to teach people to see “things from others’ perspectives as well as one’s own,” to tolerate “other people’s points of view, whether or not one agrees with such views.” He refers to this approach as his “balance theory of wisdom.” He also believes that many “smart and well-educated people” lack wisdom because they “are particularly susceptible to four fallacies,” which he labels the egocentrism, omniscience, omnipotence, and invulnerability fallacies. All four are tied up with too big an ego and with overestimating their own importance and powers.4

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