The question of whether there are different types of intelligence has aroused long before modern times. Throughout all centuries, philosophers had been trying to define intelligence as it is, yet Aristotle was the one who seemed to come the closest. He came up with an idea of so-called intellectual virtues — a classification of one’s abilities to perceive information and to implement it in real life. The virtues got their names of Sophia, Phronesis, and Nous.
Because Aristotle assumed there were initially three types of science — theoretical, practical, and productive ones, he drew their analogy on the virtues. Sophia is based on scientific systems and is what we refer to as wisdom. Phronesis, in its turn, is more of an understanding what is good for a human. It requires experience rather than theoretical skills and is referred to as a practical wisdom. Nous is considered to be a set of knowledge about initial principles, yet it does include practical skills as well, which is why some see it as an ultimate mix of both Sophia and Phronesis.
While the whole classification seems a little confusing, and all three components resemble each other in one way or another, wisdom and knowledge are definitely not the same.
Generally speaking, knowledge is concretely based on our ability to perceive external information. It is all about solid facts and theories, and it has little place for actual creative interpretations. Wisdom is, however, is what we get out of our experiences and knowledge at the first place. It is the ability to recognize and understand information, to find its applicability for oneself, and to perceive it deep down in order to understand whether it is good or bad.
As an everyday example, budgeting resembles the difference between wisdom and knowledge in the best way possible. Knowledge, in this case, is an understanding of how much money you earn and how much you are to spend. Wisdom in this scenario is more concerned with the planning — with how to spend the money in order to pull through the month.
Knowledge is dependent on current time. The facts and the information change rapidly, whereas wisdom as a solid set of values mostly stays the same. As people often say, you go to school to obtain knowledge, but you go outside of it to obtain wisdom.
The question of whether there are different types of intelligence has aroused long before modern times. Throughout all centuries, philosophers had been trying to define intelligence as it is, yet Aristotle was the one who seemed to come the closest.