Ordinary Wisdom: Biographical Aging and the Journey of Life

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9780275965563: Ordinary Wisdom: Biographical Aging and the Journey of Life
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Randall and Kenyon examine the concept of wisdom. What wisdom is exactly has vexed thinkers throughout the history of thought. Indeed, for much of modern times, the topic has been taboo, given the intellectual climate created by such movements as analytic philosophy, behaviorist psychology, and cognitive science.

This study adds to a growing movement that is reclaiming wisdom as a meaningful concept by viewing human development in terms of metaphors that enrich models like mind-as-computer, which proposes mental activity is reducible to processing information. Randall and Kenyon's metaphors are life-as-story and life-as-journey and their conceptual extension, life-as-adventure: ordinary metaphors with extraordinary implications. Through the lenses of these intertwining, time-honored tropes, the authors see wisdom not as an unattainable ideal nor as the sole province of experts or educators, geniuses, therapists, or saints. Rather, it is potentially within the reach of everyone, not as a commodity but as a quality of life; as a matter of being, not of having. Insofar as everyone is on a journey and has―or is―a story, everyone has access to an ordinary wisdom, which it behooves people to explore and express. This book will be of particular interest to scholars, students, and researchers involved with psychology, gerontology, theology, philosophy, and education.

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Book Description:

Re-thinks popular perceptions of wisdom and aging.

About the Author:

WILLIAM L. RANDALL is a former Protestant minister who has taught English at Seneca College, adult education for Brock University and the University of New Brunswick, and the philosophy of education for Saint Bonaventure University. He is currently Research Associate in Gerontology at St. Thomas University, where he is Project Director of the Fredericton 80+ Study. Dr. Randall is the author of two earlier books, The Stories We Are: An Essay on Self-Creation (1995) and, with Gary Kenyon, Restorying Our Lives (Praeger, 1997).

GARY M. KENYON is founder and Director of Gerontology at St. Thomas University. He is also Adjunct Professor, Centre on Aging, Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, and Honorary Research Associate at the University of New Brunswick. Among his publications are Narrative Gerontology: Theory, Research and Practice with B. de Vries and P. Clark and Restorying Our Lives (Praeger, 1997).

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