The Wise Person

Abstract: This paper examines the nature of the wise person. This is done by building on the contemporary literature on wisdom, which focus on the epistemic component of wisdom and the domain of wisdom, while drawing on Confucian and Ancient Greek thoughts on the wise person. A question that is a concern of this paper is whether the fact of being a human, rather than say a god, bears on the character of the wise person. According to some conceptions of wisdom, a necessary requirement for wisdom is an epistemic humility condition. Such a requirement is supported by aspects of Socratic and Confucian thought and favours the idea that what wisdom involves for a person does differs from what wisdom involves for a god. This is based on the thought that epistemic humility is inappropriate for an omniscient god and appropriate for fallible humans.

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