The definition given of wisdom, I think, gives the most complete picture of what_it_is; where experience, knowledge and good judgment meet.[INDENT] Remember, knowledge isn't only attainable through study and academia. Everything from hearsay, observation and facts related from others can also qualify as bits of knowledge about something.
Experience is crucial; and for almost no subject or issue can one be called "wise" on it without some experience on the matter at hand. Without experience, the info-bits have no context, no setting and no real impact on the individual mind; they're just floating around spark-notes.
Good judgement means that conclusions or perspective has been reached in the mind, and assimilated through the experience and knowledge components - that the lesson has been learned
and decisions can be made with confidence upon a firm mental foundation.
[/INDENT]So there is no neuron structure that can, on its own, breed wisdom. Although I agree that linkages between mental elements (e.g., the info bits associated with the experiences) are necessary. This might predispose someone moreso
to the accumulation of wisdom, but it wouldn't guarantee anything. The conscious mind has to be able to put all these elements together and draw conclusions on their own, in order for anything resembling wisdom to appear.
No, I don't think there are any physiological factors that would be necessarily 'different' for those that are wise. There are; I believe, certain behavioral attributes that increase the likelyhood that knowledge and experience might result in 'being wise'; and for each of these there could
be brain-based predispositions (but yea, that's a stretch):
- The ability to reflect; many live their lives in a "perspectiveless-void" wherein their lives are simply lived; never reflected upon
- Humility: Without which no lessons can be learned, at all - ever
- Perspective: Info and Experience don't often correlate on their own; the connection between the ramifications of this bit of knowledge and that experience don't often get made - connection failed; try again later.
- A Private Desire ... to really *understand*, minus all the ego-baggage that so often plagues homo sapiens. For many, the lack of this desire might not even be ego-based. My lovely wife, for example, simply often hasn't much interest in the contextualizations of our experiences into either a fact-based or philosophically-based framework (example).
In short, is it possible to genetically alter a person's physical brain structure to give them a greater capacity for wisdom?
No. You might be able to genetically predispose someone to have all the mental "tools" that could help_make_possible the eventual thirst for and attainment of information, experience and connections. But this just doles out the "tools", the experiences and personality attributes that work those tools
might still be absent.
Good post, thanks.