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Knowledge and wisdom in the information society

Eero Pantzar (National Information Research Programme (Academy of Finland), FIN 33011 Tampere, Finland)

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 1 April 2000

Abstract

Regarding the information society’s outcome, the only certainty is that there has been a revolution in the management of bit‐split knowledge and information. A flood of information has not significantly changed society in a direction or towards a state where a community could be characterized as a society of nearness, experience or citizenship, for example. Information and knowledge are probably the very concepts that have been confused most in the information society debate. Knowledge is to be understood as a phenomenon that is larger than information but uses information as its building material. Wisdom is additionally considered to include and cover the questions for which there are no unambiguous answers. It is wisdom that people use to estimate and distinguish good from evil and right from wrong. This is a task that calls for wisdom which computers do not have. Potential growth of wisdom in the information society is an issue that is difficult or impossible to say anything about with certainty. The reality of an information society includes the fact that wisdom is connected to moral and ethical judgements, and that the solutions are not always stronger than the powerseeking choices or egoistic interests of individuals, businesses, communities or states. Even if wisdom should promote the common good, it seems to be used, to an equal degree, to exclusively promote the good of the wise individual. But is it still wisdom we are talking about?

Keywords

Citation

Pantzar, E. (2000), "Knowledge and wisdom in the information society", Foresight, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 230-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636680010802573

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

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