A large-scale wisdom that goes beyond day-to-day matters to take in the big picture.

a.k.a. insight

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • impracticality (vice of excess)
  • lost-in-the-clouds (vice of excess)
  • small-mindedness

Virtues possibly in tension


How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links


Mentioned elsewhere

Inspirational quotes

  • “It is the bounty of nature that we live; but of philosophy that we live well. Not but that philosophy is also the gift of heaven, so far as to the faculty, but not to the science; for that must be the business of industry. No man is born wise; but wisdom and virtue require a tutor, though we can easily learn to be vicious without a master.” ―Seneca
  • “Philosophy isn’t a parlor game or made for show. It’s not concerned with words, but with facts. It’s not employed for some pleasure before the day is spent, or to relieve the uneasiness of our leisure. It shapes and builds up the soul, it gives order to life, guides action, shows what should and shouldn’t be done — it sits at the rudder steering our course as we vacillate in uncertainties. Without it, no one can live without fear or free from care. Countless things happen every hour that require advice, and such advice is to be sought out in philosophy.” —Seneca, Moral Letters 16.3
  • “The ti­tle wise is, for the most part, false­ly ap­plied. How can one be a wise man, if he does not know any bet­ter how to live than oth­er men? — if he is on­ly more cun­ning and in­tel­lec­tu­al­ly sub­tle?” ―Thoreau
  • “One must not pretend to philosophize, but philosophize in reality. For we do not need the semblance of health but true health.” (from the Vatican collection of Epicurian sayings)