Previous Chapter Chapter 22: Wisdom as Learned Ignorance: Integrating East-West Perspectives

Robert Chia & Robin Holt

In: Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom

Chapter 22: Wisdom as Learned Ignorance: Integrating East-West Perspectives

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Wisdom as Learned Ignorance: Integrating East-West Perspectives
Wisdom as learned ignorance: Integrating East-West perspectives

Wisdom (which all men seek with such great mental longing) is… higher than all knowledge and is unknowable and inexpressible by any speech, incomprehensible by any intellect, unmeasurable by any measure…

—Nicholas of Cusa, Idiota de Sapienta

A wise man has no extensive knowledge. He who has extensive knowledge is not a wise man.

—Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Wisdom is an ancient, enigmatic, and intractable notion whose abiding influence in professional practice in general, and in management practice in particular, remains ever elusive. In this chapter, we develop the idea of wisdom as a form of learned ignorance—a cultivated humility, meekness of demeanor, and openness of mind that is distinct from the aggressive and relentless ...

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