September 22, 2008

Wisdom or Eloquence

Having both is worth striving for.

To quote Cicero in De Inventione Rhetorica (On Rhetoric)

"wisdom without eloquence is of little use to society, while eloquence without wisdom is frequently extremely prejudicial to it, never of any use."

I am not reading Cicero, I am reading Augustine (De Doctrina Christiana - Teaching Christianity). It appears he is reading Cicero. Probably in the original language.

While you want both wisdom and eloquence, you have to opt for wisdom first. Eloquence sans wisdom at best is useless, but can be very detrimental. History bears testament to that fact. Wisdom sans eloquence can at least can have some marginal benefit.

As this post so aptly attests to.

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