Volume 112, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244



Securing a future for philosophy and wisdom in the professionalized and specialized context of twenty-first century academia is the challenge taken up by this article. If the conception of philosophy as the love of wisdom expects too much of philosophers, the construal of philosophy as the study of wisdom expects too little. To attempt to rehabilitate the relationship between philosophy and wisdom by claiming that philosophy is the study of wisdom unreasonably limits the scope of the current vibrant and expansive discipline, leaving it unclear how the more theoretical dimensions of philosophy might fit into it. Moreover, to exclude from consideration the possibility that a person might be improved by philosophy, and his or her life enhanced, is to denature the discipline. The model of philosophy as encouraging friendship with wisdom, on the other hand, does not underestimate philosophy’s potential for helping someone to become the kind of person who could make the choices likely to contribute to the living of a good life. By providing a way of thinking about the relationship between philosophy and wisdom that is appropriate to our age, the idea that philosophers are friends of wisdom can contribute to our evolving practice and understanding of the discipline, while at the same time allowing philosophy and philosophers to remain vitally connected to their heritage.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): befriending wisdom; Peter Jonkers; philosophical pedagogy; self-transformation; wisdom
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