Wisdom refers to a quality of character or mind.  Wisdom is being able to apply knowledge, theory, and experience with insight and good judgment.  Wisdom, a deep knowledge of what is right, can be about truth or goodness.  Wisdom can also refer to the body of knowledge and experience passed on from previous generations within a culture, or across cultures, that equips one to make wise choices and live a good life.

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I have always felt that doubt was the beginning of wisdom, and the fear of God was the end of wisdom.

— Clarence Darrow

The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.

— Clarence Darrow

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

— Confucius

In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.

— David Hume

A wise man proportions his beliefs to the evidence.

— David Hume

Wisdom is knowing what to do next; Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it.

— David Starr Jordan

We are now at a point in time when the ability to receive, utilize, store, transform and trasmit data — the lowest cognitive form — has expanded literally beyond comprehension. Understanding and wisdom are largely forgotten as we struggle under an avalanche of data and information.

— Dee Hock

To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is no longer enough to be smart — all the technological tools in the world add meaning and value only if they enhance our core values, the deepest part of our heart. Acquiring knowledge is no guarantee of practical, useful application. Wisdom implies a mature integration of appropriate knowledge, a seasoned ability to filter the inessential from the essential.

— Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman

Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.

— Doug Larson

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.

— Doug Larson

Life is the only real counselor; wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue.

— Edith Wharton

To know when to be generous and when firm — that is wisdom.

— Elbert Hubbard

The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom in a happy mind.

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

— Epictetus

It takes a clever man to turn cynic and a wise man to be clever enough not to.

— Fannie Hurst

A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

— Francis Bacon

What replaces fear? A capacity to trust the abundance of life. All wisdom traditions posit the profound truth that there are two fundamental ways to live life: from fear and scarcity or from trust and abundance…. We come to believe that even if something unexpected happens or if we make mistakes, things will turn out all right, and when they don’t, life will have given us an opportunity to learn and grow.

— Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations

There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Mystical explanations are thought to be deep; the truth is that they are not even shallow.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

War has always been the grand sagacity of every spirit which has grown too inward and too profound; its curative power lies even in the wounds one receives.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth as a raven which is inspired by the smell of carrion?

— Friedrich Nietzsche

To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.

— G. K. Chesterton, Wisdom of Father Brown

One’s first step in wisdom is to question everything – and one’s last is to come to terms with everything.

— Georg C. Lichtenberg

No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.

— George Bernard Shaw

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

— George Bernard Shaw

Too bad that all the people who really know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair.

— George Burns

If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.

— George Gordon, Lord Byron

The wisest mind has something yet to learn.

— George Santayana

Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.

— George Santayana

The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy.

— George Santayana

Wisdom, fundamentally, is knowing who you are, where you are, and what you’re trying to do or be.

— Gordon B McKeeman

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.

— Groucho Marx

The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

— H.L. Mencken

Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.

— Heinrich Heine
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