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Differences between Intelligence and Wisdom

Differences between Intelligence and Wisdom

Are you intelligent? Or are you wise? Chances are if you’ve ever stopped to ask yourself that question, you fall into one category or the other. But what exactly is the difference between intelligence and wisdom? And can you be both intelligent and wise? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at these two concepts and explore the differences between them.

What is Intelligence?

  • By definition, intelligence is the power of learning. More colloquially, it is often used to describe someone who is quick-witted or smart. While there is no single agreed-upon definition of intelligence, there are a few theories that seek to explain how it works.
  • One popular theory, known as multiple intelligences, suggests that there are different kinds of intelligence, each corresponding to a different area of cognitive ability. This theory has been used to explain why some people are good at math while others are better at creative writing, for example.
  • Another theory, known as general intelligence theory, suggests that intelligence is a single overall mental ability that can be applied to a variety of tasks. This theory has been used to create tests like IQ tests, which purport to measure a person’s general intelligence. Whatever its exact nature, intelligence is clearly a complex human trait with many important real-world applications.

What is Wisdom?

While there is no one definitive answer to this question, wisdom can broadly be defined as the ability to make sound decisions based on knowledge and experience. In many cultures, wisdom is viewed as a virtue that is to be cultivated over a lifetime. Indeed, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates famously said that “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

This sentiment highlights the importance of lifelong learning in the pursuit of wisdom. As we gain knowledge and experience, we are better able to navigate the complexities of life and make decisions that serve our best interests. While wisdom does not always come easily, it is a quality that is well worth striving for.

Differences between Intelligence and Wisdom

Intelligence is the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and remember information. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the ability to apply knowledge to achieve a positive outcome.

  • In other words, intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge, while wisdom is the ability to use that knowledge effectively.
  • There are a few key differences between intelligence and wisdom. First, intelligence is mostly based on cognitive abilities, while wisdom also takes into account emotion and social factors.
  • Second, intelligence is mostly about taking in new information, while wisdom is also about making decisions based on existing knowledge. Finally, intelligence is more focused on individual achievement, while wisdom is more concerned with collective well-being.

Despite these differences, intelligence and wisdom are not mutually exclusive. A wise person is often intelligent, but an intelligent person is not necessarily wise. The two concepts are different but complementary ways of understanding human cognition.


In conclusion, intelligence and wisdom are two very different concepts. Intelligence is the ability to learn and understand new information, while wisdom is the ability to use that knowledge in a practical way. While there is some overlap between the two, they are ultimately quite different. Some people may be more intelligent than wise, and others may be more wise than intelligent. However, it’s important to have both qualities in order to be successful in life.

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