So there's an emerging field of Evidence Based Wisdom in neuroscience. A crude categorization of Balte's model of 5 Criteria to Assess Wisdom:

  1. Factual knowledge: Knowing the 'whats' of the human condition and human nature
  2. Procedural knowledge: Strategies for solving life's problems
  3. Lifespan contextualism: Knowledge of life's settings and social situations and how they change overtime
  4. Relativism of values: Being aware of cultural differences and being considerate and sensitive to different values
  5. Awareness and management of uncertainty: Recognizing the limits of knowledge, and understanding the uncertainty of the future

What are some examples of wisdom which wouldn't fit into this paradigm?

An valid (?) example I could think of was:

  1. Faith in Life: If you happen to meet someone who is going to commit suicide you can understand: That they are in such extreme pain they wish to cease to exist over this pain. Factual knowledge is powerless since humans can be forced to this extent. Procedural knowledge can also be helpless since there are dire situations and I hope no one will make the claim that there always exists a strategy. Lifespan contextualism and Relativism of values are both useless since by understanding the reason of his act doesn't enable you a means to change the individuals perspective and asking someone to bet on an uncertainty as hope to cease the pain is hopeless. Plot twist: This someone you met is none other but yourself, in this case I would argue a faith in your own life (and perhaps others) can prevent this act.

I would argue for a religious like belief in the meaning of one's life. And as senseless as life may seem momentarily one must have faith in it's meaning. This is simply: faith one will reach the conclusion that one's life will be a meaningful experience.*

*A concrete example where I have encountered this would be "Never seek the Gohonzon (object of utmost devotion) outside yourself"

  • Reason for downvote? Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 12:21
  • I didn't downvote but I think you need to explain 'faith in life' far more clearly, instead of relying on how Balte's model seems insufficient to you. I look forward to more detail. Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 12:27
  • @Futilitarian it's a bit difficult for me explain certain things in propositions when I don't use that framework myself but I have added a reference (of an explicit example) Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 12:34
  • 1
    I mean no offence, but the link seems to express yet another set of views from yet another sect. If 'faith' is an unreliable means by which to arrive at accurate conclusions about reality, why would we uptake any faith advocated by anyone or any religion? Why should faith give us meaning? That said, if it prevents a suicide - or any other undesirable behaviour - it may have a place. The problem is, faith is often attached to ideas we would typically find abhorrent, and any good it serves is often accompanied by a sizeable dose of bad. Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 12:43
  • @Futilitarian No offence taken but I think you are conflating dogma and faith. Faith can also be in things like the validity of the Reimann Hypothesis. There's a sense of intuition. Now ofcourse, since wisdom is contextual having this intuition would become a self fulfilling prophecy and guarantee meaning. But there's nothing wrong with that! One can cultivate a sense of this intuition by the means of faith (or in the case I mention a religion). Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


The link that you've provided for Balte's categorisation says hos classification was derived from religious and philosophical texts. There is nothing about neuroscience there. Further there is nothing about neuroscience in the categorisation you have written. Moreover your question in the body of your text works from Balte's categories.

So it seems your headline question is misconcieved.

  • Balte's categories have been used in neuroscience journals as a basis for their research Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 13:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .