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CfB Bureau

‘There’s no fool like an old fool,’ the saying goes. What is it about wisdom that sets it apart from mere intelligence? What is that elusive difference between a simple grasp of the facts and profound understanding?

Wisdom has fascinated the human race for thousands of years; philosophers are notorious for being in love with it, and for centuries writers have tried to capture its essence in proverbs and fables.

Now, Trevor Curnow, a Reader in Philosophy at the University of Cumbria, and the author of Oracles of the Ancient World and Philosophers of the Ancient World, provides an accessible introduction to wisdom and the many ways we have tried to achieve it throughout history, in his latest book, Wisdom: A World History.

Drawing on examples from a diversity of eras and places—from ancient Egypt to medieval Europe to modern Africa—Curnow explores the ways we have sought to overcome the problems posed by our existence, such as love and death, with a steadfast wisdom. He shows how many cultures have attributed wisdom to deities such as Apollo, Odin, and Sarasvati, and how, especially, we have placed it within the vehicle of the proverb, which has safeguarded its lessons throughout time and across cultures.

Including a collection of one hundred sayings that offer a rich record of wisdom’s reification, Wisdom: A World History gives new insight into what wisdom actually is and where we might find it.

The book will be available by 10 July 2016.

Wisdom: A World History | Trevor Curnow | Speaking Tiger | Non-fiction| Paperback with flaps | Rs 399.00

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