Acta Analytica

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 81-97

First online:

“Two Types of Wisdom”

  • Jason BaehrAffiliated withPhilosophy Department, Loyola Marymount University Email author 

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The concept of wisdom is largely ignored by contemporary philosophers. But given recent movements in the fields of ethics and epistemology, the time is ripe for a return to this concept. This article lays some groundwork for further philosophical work in ethics and epistemology on wisdom. Its focus is the distinction between practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom or between phronesis and sophia. Several accounts of this distinction are considered and rejected. A more plausible, but also considerably more complex, account is offered. The discussion sheds light on the relation between practical wisdom and theoretical wisdom, and on the positive character of each.


Wisdom Practical wisdom Theoretical wisdom Phronesis Sophia