Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good

Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good

by Dilip Jeste MD, Scott LaFee
Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good

Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good

by Dilip Jeste MD, Scott LaFee


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From the field's pioneer, an exploration of the neurobiology and psychology of wisdom: what science says it is and how to nurture it within yourself—at any stage of your life.

What exactly does it mean to be "wise?" And is it possible to grow and even accelerate its unfolding?

For over two decades, Dr. Dilip Jeste has led the search for the biological and cognitive roots of wisdom. What's emerged from his work is that wisdom is a very real and deeply multilayered set of traits.

Across many cultures and centuries, he's found that wise people are compassionate and empathetic, aware of their gifts and blind spots, open-minded, resolute and calm amid uncertainty, altruistic decision-makers who learn from their experiences, able to see from many perspectives and "altitudes," and often blessed with a sense of adventure and humor.

"The modern rise in suicides, opioid abuse, loneliness, and internet addiction is damaging people’s health and destroying the social fabric," Dr. Jeste reflects. But we all have the ability to nurture and grow every facet of wisdom to face these challenges and others more effectively.

If you seek to be a wiser person—with your family, at work, and in your community—this book will show you how, with the researcher who's launched and advanced this exciting new path to our highest human potential.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683644637
Publisher: Sounds True, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/03/2020
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,013,712
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Dilip Jeste, MD, is the senior associate dean for healthy aging and senior care, professor of psychiatry and neurosciences, and director of the Center for Healthy Aging at UC San Diego. He is past president of the American Psychiatric Association. A neuropsychiatrist specializing in geriatric issues, Jeste has spent more than 20 years studying aspects of healthy aging and the neurobiological roots of wisdom.

Scott LaFee is director of communications and media relations for UC San Diego Health, UC San Diego Health Sciences, and the UC San Diego School of Medicine. He was previously a science writer and editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has been a contributor to New Scientist, People, and Businessweek.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Seeking Wisdom of the Ages at All Ages ix

Part I What Is Wisdom?

Chapter 1 Defining Wisdom 3

Chapter 2 The Neuroscience of Wisdom 17

Chapter 3 Wisdom and Aging 39

Chapter 4 Measuring Wisdom: The Jeste-Thomas Wisdom Index 57

Part II Components of Wisdom

Chapter 5 Cultivating Compassion 77

Chapter 6 Emotional Regulation with Happiness 105

Chapter 7 Balancing Decisiveness with Acceptance of Uncertainty 139

Chapter 8 Self-Reflection, Curiosity, and Humor 165

Chapter 9 Spirituality 189

Part III Enhancing Practical and Societal Wisdom

Chapter 10 Becoming Wiser Faster 211

Chapter 11 Wisdom Boosters: Drugs, Gadgets, and Artificial Wisdom? 247

Chapter 12 The Future of Wisdom: Moving from Individual to Societal Wisdom 259

Acknowledgments 285

Notes 289

Index 313

About the Authors 317

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