Wisdom, sapience, or sagacity is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as unbiased judgment, compassion, experiential self-knowledge, self-transcendence and non-attachment, and virtues such as ethics and benevolence.
Wisdom has been defined in many different ways, including several distinct approaches to assess the characteristics attributed to wisdom.
Public schools in the US have an approach to character education. Eighteenth century thinkers such as Benjamin Franklin, referred to this as training wisdom and virtue. Traditionally, schools share the responsibility to build character and wisdom along with parents and the community.
Nicholas Maxwell, a contemporary philosopher in the United Kingdom, advocates that academia ought to alter its focus from the acquisition of knowledge to seeking and promoting wisdom. This he defines as the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for oneself and others. He teaches that new knowledge and technological know-how increase our power to act. Without wisdom though, Maxwell claims this new knowledge may cause human harm as well as human good.