There are several legitimate ways of conceptualizing and studying wisdom. One is largely informed by Western philosophy and treats wisdom as an analytic theory of expert knowledge, judgment, and advice about difficult and uncertain matters of life. Another is more consistent with Asian philosophical non-secularized traditions and treats wisdom as instantiated by wise persons or their products. The second approach is always but an approximation to the analytically constructed utopia of wisdom. Wise persons are approximations to wisdom, but they are not wisdom. Ardelt’s critique of our work proposes that our theoretical conception of wisdom as a body of expert knowledge in a specific subject matter is similar to ‘cold’ cognition. We disagree and assert that our conception of wisdom includes as antecedents, correlates, and consequences a rich spectrum of specific cognitive, emotional, motivational and social factors as well as life contexts. Our empirical research unequivocally supports this multidimensional and collaborative view.

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