Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Intelligence And Wisdom

Intelligence and wisdom are two great human qualities. Any person possessing them is looked upon with respect and considered most valuable. Generally intelligence and wisdom are considered very similar, but there are many aspects of dissimilarity between the two. As intelligence and wisdom relate to human mind it is, therefore, important to first know about human intellectual faculties.

There are six intellectual faculties: 


While humans also have sixth sense, the above six represent different abilities that a person may have providing him other means for understanding different aspects of life. The six senses make a person see, hear, smell, touch, taste and get awareness not explicable in terms of perception. The six intellectual faculties help him to be creative and resourceful, using senses to enhance awareness and develop thoughts, remember the past in any form, understand on the basis of logic and decide or go for an action. It is, therefore, abundantly clear that the senses and the intellectual faculties are the most important resources of a human being.

Now let us go back to intelligence and wisdom.


Intelligence is the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge. A person is said to be intelligent who has the ability to quickly learn, understand, remember and apply all that he comes across by way of knowledge, events, situations or any form of happening. He has a sharp and robust memory and general cognitive problem solving skills. He has a definite view of events and ability to analyze and interpret facts and events on the basis of his learning, knowledge and reasoning abilities. Intellectual faculties of perception and reasoning are the important tools of intelligence. Mostly intelligence is considered a gift of nature and measured through IQ (intelligence quotient).


Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment. A person is said to be wise if he has the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing due to his ability to grasp facts and situations without having to adopt the course of reasoning. He has the ability to discern inner qualities, relationships as well as judge what is true, right, or lasting and has a great common sense that he applies in every situation in the most proper way. He is vested with the caliber to give authoritative opinions that are accepted due to his high level of knowledge, experience and judgments of proven value. The intellectual faculties of intuition and memory and the ability to look at the whole picture that results in a better understanding of the facts, people and situations are very much in play in creating the quality of wisdom. As the following Latin proverb will show Wisdom is also a quality learned by learning from mistakes of others.
"A wise man learns by the mistakes of others, a fool by his own".


While intelligence derive its strength from six senses, knowledge and its application, wisdom is basically based on experience, judgment and insight.

Intelligence is mostly person specific and the person learns from his knowledge and his own mistakes,  wisdom is public- centric and is created through experiences and mistakes of others.

Intelligence is exploratory and inquisitive in nature while exclusivity and authority are the hallmarks of wisdom.

Intelligence teaches the best way of doing things, wisdom is knowing the right thing to do and help people in making the right choice.

Intelligence deals with information, its analysis and conclusions while wisdom pronounces established truths.

Intelligence in varying form is present in a wise person, but an intelligent man may or may not have wisdom.

Intelligence is exhibited through a process involving reasoning leading to the final results while wisdom is exhibited through time tested examples.

Tasneem Hameed

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