is often considered a synonym to knowledge
, but the two concepts are in fact quite different. Wheras knowledge is concerned with timely, "small" questions, wisdom is concerned with untimely, "big" questions. Knowledge asks, "is space-time curved?" Wisdom asks, "What is space?" and "What is time?" (metaphysics
). Knowledge asks, "Will this job make me happy?" Wisdom asks, "What is happiness?" (ethics
) In many cases, questions asked by knowledge presuppose questions asked by wisdom. Many of the questions knowledge asks can have experiments constructed to check their validity. Most questions wisdom asks cannot be tested. For instance, up at Fermilab
, they're doing high-energy particle physics experiments day in and day out. But what sort of experiment could you possibly devise to determine whether or not a work of art has aesthetic
This difference separates philosophy from science. Science deals with knowledge, while philosophy deals with wisdom. While science is important, it all relies on at least one branch of philosophy: logic. As noted above, many scientific questions also rely on philosophical questions, which is why philosophical questions are referred to as "big" questions; they are basic questions that lay the groundwork for other, "smaller" questions.