The Scientific Study of Personal Wisdom

From Contemplative Traditions to Neuroscience

  • Michel Ferrari
  • Nic M. Weststrate

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Person-Based Wisdom

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. John Vervaeke, Leonardo Ferraro
      Pages 21-51
    3. Robert J. Sternberg
      Pages 53-74
    4. Jeff D. Sanders, Dilip V. Jeste
      Pages 99-112
  3. Wisdom in Everyday, Real-Life Contexts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 113-113
    2. Michel Ferrari, Nic M. Weststrate, Anda Petro
      Pages 137-164
    3. Ricca Edmondson
      Pages 191-209
  4. Self-Transcendent and Contemplative Wisdom

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 211-211
    2. Michael R. Levenson, Carolyn M. Aldwin
      Pages 213-228
    3. Eleanor Rosch
      Pages 229-249
  5. The Transformative Potential of Wisdom Inquiry

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 297-297
    2. Nicholas Maxwell
      Pages 299-322
  6. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 323-323
    2. Michel Ferrari, Nic M. Weststrate
      Pages 325-341
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 343-356

About this book


The rich and diverse contributions to this volume span a wide variety of disciplines, from psychology and philosophy to neuroscience, by some of the most influential scholars in the emerging science of personal wisdom. As such, it is a collection of essential readings and the first publication to integrate both the spiritual and pragmatic dimensions of personal wisdom.

The content of the book goes beyond speculative theory to present a wealth of scientific research currently under way in this expanding field. It also describes numerous promising methods now being deployed in the quest for scientific knowledge of the elusive, yet critical, phenomenon of personal wisdom. The book is an excellent introduction to the field for novice researchers as well as a stimulating and enlightening resource for established experts. Its broad appeal makes it a vital addition to the libraries of academics and practitioners in many disciplines, from developmental psychology to gerontology, and from philosophy to contemplative religious traditions such as Buddhism.


Berlin Paradigm Cognitive science Expertise Flourishing Human development person-focused research personal wisdom personality positioning theory task-focused research

Editors and affiliations

  • Michel Ferrari
    • 1
  • Nic M. Weststrate
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Psychology and Human DevelopmentUniversity of Toronto OISETorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dept. Human Development & Applied PsychologyUniversity of Toronto OISETorontoCanada

Bibliographic information