HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Race & Ethnicity » African American (Group) » The Source of Self-Regard...

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 03:59 PM

The Source of Self-Regard: Toni Morrison on Wisdom in the Age of Information



This increasingly dangerous obfuscation of information and wisdom is what Toni Morrison (b. February 18, 1931) ó one of the deepest seers of our time ó examines in an almost-aside, the way only towering intellects can.

Morrison writes:

In all of our education, whether itís in institutions or not, in homes or streets or wherever, whether itís scholarly or whether itís experiential, there is a kind of a progression. We move from data to information to knowledge to wisdom. And separating one from the other, being able to distinguish among and between them, that is, knowing the limitations and the danger of exercising one without the others, while respecting each category of intelligence, is generally what serious education is about. And if we agree that purposeful progression exists, then you will seeÖ that itís easy, and itís seductive, to assume that data is really knowledge. Or that information is, indeed, wisdom. Or that knowledge can exist without data. And how easy, and how effortlessly, one can parade and disguise itself as another. And how quickly we can forget that wisdom without knowledge, wisdom without any data, is just a hunch.

Reflecting on how she too had mistaken information for illumination in her initial approach to her subject ó a sort of arrogance she condemns as poison to both wisdom and imagination ó she writes:

[I had read] the historical booksÖ I had read the autobiographies of the slaves themselves and therefore had firsthand information from people who were there. You add that to my own intuition, and you can see the shape of my confidence and the trap that it would lead me into, which would be confusing data with information and knowledge with hunches and so on. I thought I knew a great deal about it. And that arrogance was the first obstacle.

What I needed was imagination to shore up the facts, the data, and not be overwhelmed by them. Imagination that personalized information, made it intimate, but didnít offer itself as a substitute. If imagination could be depended on for that, then there was the possibility of knowledge. Wisdom, of course, I would leave alone, and rely on the readers to produce that.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/03/06/the-source-of-self-regard-toni-morrison-wisdom-information/?mc_cid=1d875ee9e9&mc_eid=39ff8abb61

4 replies, 906 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Source of Self-Regard: Toni Morrison on Wisdom in the Age of Information (Original post)
Kind of Blue Mar 2019 OP
saidsimplesimon Mar 2019 #1
Kind of Blue Mar 2019 #2
saidsimplesimon Mar 2019 #3
Kind of Blue Mar 2019 #4

Response to Kind of Blue (Original post)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 04:40 PM

1. k&r for you and Ms. Morrison n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to saidsimplesimon (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 04:48 PM

2. Aww, shucks. You're too kind. Thank you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 04:52 PM

3. My pleasure, love the blues

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to saidsimplesimon (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 10, 2019, 07:15 PM

4. Yes, indeed!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread