Philip Kao

April 11, 2014 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Anthropology Colloquium Series


The Science & Anthropology of Wisdom: Cultural models and gnomic contexts

Philip Kao : Post-Doctoral Fellow in Medical Anthropology

University of Pittsburgh

Wisdom is squishy, but that shouldn’t dissuade us from trying to investigate it theoretically and anthropologically.  There are a few ethnographies which deal with wisdom directly (e.g. Basso’s work on the Cibecue-speaking Apache).  Others, however, reveal more subtly just how something called ‘wisdom’ might be constituted/emplaced in the world of human representations and ‘cultural facts— that transcend simplistic dualisms and relations.  This talk draws from such case studies arising from an undergraduate seminar on the Anthropology of Wisdom.  Recognizing that certain practices (like ritual) require wisdom and vice versa is more than ideological, and allows us to establish a position from which to begin answering the following: 1) What can anthropology add to the study of wisdom (and wisdom science)?  2) What exactly does wisdom have to do with socio/cultural contexts? and 3) Can we agree on any cross-cultural and perhaps universal  aspects/domains of wisdom?

April 11, 2014:  3106 WWPH  Anthropology Lounge -- 3pm.

Location and Address

3106 WWPH Anthropology Lounge