Ordinary Wisdom: Biographical Aging and the Journey of Life

Overview

Randall and Kenyon examine the concept of wisdom. What wisdom is exactly has vexed thinkers throughout the history of thought. Indeed, for much of modern times, the topic has been taboo, given the intellectual climate created by such movements as analytic philosophy, behaviorist psychology, and cognitive science.

This study adds to a growing movement that is reclaiming wisdom as a meaningful concept by viewing human development in terms of metaphors that enrich models like ...

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Overview

Randall and Kenyon examine the concept of wisdom. What wisdom is exactly has vexed thinkers throughout the history of thought. Indeed, for much of modern times, the topic has been taboo, given the intellectual climate created by such movements as analytic philosophy, behaviorist psychology, and cognitive science.

This study adds to a growing movement that is reclaiming wisdom as a meaningful concept by viewing human development in terms of metaphors that enrich models like mind-as-computer, which proposes mental activity is reducible to processing information. Randall and Kenyon's metaphors are life-as-story and life-as-journey and their conceptual extension, life-as-adventure: ordinary metaphors with extraordinary implications. Through the lenses of these intertwining, time-honored tropes, the authors see wisdom not as an unattainable ideal nor as the sole province of experts or educators, geniuses, therapists, or saints. Rather, it is potentially within the reach of everyone, not as a commodity but as a quality of life; as a matter of being, not of having. Insofar as everyone is on a journey and has—or is—a story, everyone has access to an ordinary wisdom, which it behooves people to explore and express. This book will be of particular interest to scholars, students, and researchers involved with psychology, gerontology, theology, philosophy, and education.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A gerontologist and a former Protestant minister and educator attempt to describe the parameters of "ordinary wisdom" by reviewing a selection of perspectives, present and past, that have been advanced on wisdom. Using metaphors which commonly describe the wisdom gleaned from life, including life as story, life as journey, and life as adventure, the authors examine the idea of adopting a narrative perspective on aging, in an effort to explore the meaning of aging, wisdom, and how meaning is made through the process of growing older. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275965563
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/2000
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM L. RANDALL is a former Protestant minister who has taught English at Seneca College, adult education for Brock University and the University of New Brunswick, and the philosophy of education for Saint Bonaventure University.

GARY M. KENYON is founder and Director of Gerontology at St. Thomas University.

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Table of Contents

Ordinary Wisdom

Wisdom on Wisdom

Biographical Aging: Life as Story

Spiritual Aging: Life as Journey

Conscious Aging: Life as Adventure

References

Index

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