Plato and the Virtues of Wisdom

  • Eric Russert Kraemer


Introduction: Is wisdom a virtue? I think it is and also that it is an important virtue. But, it should be granted at the outset that the claim is controversial, that there are philosophers who either do not think of wisdom as a virtue1, or do not think of it as relevantly similar to other virtues.  For example, Stanley Godlovitch comments:
Wisdom sits alone. We cannot rehearse or practice it. We cannot be prompted to assume it—wheth er for our sake or for the sake of others. We cannot expect, should we be in possession of it, to win friends and influence people.  Wisdom calls into prominence a state of mind rather than a readiness to act in specified ways. As such, its status as a virtue must remain rather aloof.2