“As wise as an owl.” The owl has long been a symbol of philosophy; but even an intelligent bird cannot be wise in the way that Socrates was. Philosophy befriends wisdom: that means to live the wisdom we have, to be aware when we lack wisdom and need it, and to seek until we find.
We grow up with wisdom in the best advice we receive from parents, teachers, religious leaders, and friends. Wisdom can be found in the arts, scripture, and prayer; in songs and in quotations passed along on the internet; and in popular sayings like the golden rule: Treat others the way you want others to treat you. Living true to the best wisdom that we already know will take us a long way. Philosophy carries the quest for wisdom further.
Over the years, I have always been grateful for chances to teach Plato, in one of whose dialogues, the Crito, I found the perfect example of philosophical living. My forthcoming book, Values and Virtues, gives the details. Here I will simply say that a wise decision is based on interpreting the meanings of the facts of a situation and the meanings of the relevant values. Taking that thought further, we can say that wisdom joins scientific realism to spiritual idealism. Philosophical thinking exercises our basic capacities for intuition in the realms of matter, mind, and spirit. We sharpen these capacities by reason and integrate them in our wisdom synthesis of great concepts developed through struggle and growth.
http://mrg.bz/Lu0EtF owl eyes by matthew hull