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Encyclopedia > John Wisdom

John Wisdom (1904-1993) was an ordinary language philosopher and philosopher of mind. He was heavily influenced by G. E. Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein. 1904 (MCMIV) is a leap year starting on a Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1993 (MCMXCIII in Roman) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Ordinary language philosophy is less a philosophical doctrine or school than it is a loose network of approaches to traditional philosophical problems. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Philosophy of mind is the philosophical study of the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, and consciousness. ... George Edward Moore George Edward Moore, also known as G.E. Moore, (November 4, 1873 - October 24, 1958) was a distinguished and hugely influential English philosopher who was educated and taught at the University of Cambridge. ... Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (IPA: ) (April 26, 1889 – April 29, 1951) was an Austrian philosopher who contributed several ground-breaking works to modern philosophy, primarily on the foundations of logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of mind. ...

Wisdom taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the UK and, near the end of his career, at the University of Oregon in the US.


  • Interpretation and Analysis, (1931)
  • Other Minds, (1952)
  • Philosophy & PsychoAnalysis, (1953)
  • Paradox and Discovery, (1965)
  • Proof and Explanation (The Virginia Lectures 1957), (1991)

Different Wisdom from here on

Credit for this account of the ride of "The Paul Revere of the South" is Col. Robert N. Mann and was published in the "History and Heritage - Articles on Cherokee County Alabama" published by the Cherokee County Historical Museum.

John Henry Wisdom was a stage driver and a former resident of Rome. On the afternoon of May 2 he learned that Colonel A. D. Streight had passed through Gadsden on his way to Rome, Georgia. He guessed that the Union Forces had as their objective the destruction of the Confederate arsenal there. He had no way of knowing that Streight's mission was also to cut the Confederate supply line between Atlanta and Chattanooga. Neither did he know that General N. B. Forrest was in the area pursuing Col. Streight. On his own initiative he decided to inform his friends in Rome of the impending raid.

He left Gadsden at 3:30 in the afternoon by buggy and after 22 miles at Gnatville his horse was completely exhausted . A widow Hanks at that place owned the only horse- a lame pony- which she loaned to Wisdom. The pony only lasted five miles until he came to Goshen. Here he was able to get a fresh and stronger horse which carried him to Spring Garden where he was able to get two horses. At a point about one mile south of Cave Spring, Georgia, his mount was exhausted and darkness had come.

Farmers were relunctant to loan their animals nevertheless he walked on and even used a mule for several miles until he was able to get two good mounts in Vann's Valley in succession and raced into Rome after midnight.

It is not clear how he aroused the citizenry of Rome, but that he did. Rome at that time was some 60 miles south of the confederate lines above Dalton and was thought to be safe. There were no troops in the town to protect it or the arsenal. There were only wounded soldiers, old men and boys but by some means a plan of defense was hastily devised.

The covered wooden bridge over which the Union troops would be forced to move was barricaded with bales of cotton and the bridge floor covered waist deep with hay soaked in oil which was to be set afire in the event the invaders could not be stopped by other measures.

The engineers of the Rome Railroad made trips into the countryside warning the people and bringing the planters who responded to the call to arms. They brought their squirrel rifles, muskets, and muzzle loading shotguns.

The 200 advanced troops sent by Col. Streight after passing through Gadsden arrived but after inspecting from Shorter College hill overlooking Rome the defenses being made, the commanding officer concluded that his small command would not be able to rush the bridge so he sent a message to that effect to Col. Streightand began to retire westward. A short time later he met Col. Streight and his entire staff- all prisoners of war.

Wisdom had saved the town and the arsenal - it would otherwise have been an easy task for an advance party of 200 soldiers to have occupied the town, burned the factories and destroyed the supplies. They would not have needed Streight's full command. Go Patrick

  Results from FactBites:
John Minor Wisdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (337 words)
President Eisenhower appointed Wisdom to the Fifth Circuit bench in 1957.
As a young man, Wisdom was a Democrat, but he left that party in reaction to what he perceived as the corrupt administration of Louisiana governor Huey Long.
Wisdom's official biography is being written by Professor Joel William Friedman of the Tulane University Law School.
ABC Radio National: Big Ideas - 11 May  2003  - Wisdom Interviews: John Bell (6528 words)
John Bell: Well when we decided to come back to Australia, I wrote to John Clark at NIDA and said ‘We’re thinking of coming back, would there be a job for me?’ and he wrote straight back and said ‘Yes, you come and be head of acting’.
John Bell: I think maybe the reason one keeps going back to Shakespeare and keeps doing it is because he doesn’t actually tell you, he throws up questions, he throws up scenarios and examples of behaviour, and huge moral and ethical dilemmas, and leaves it to you to answer them.
John Bell: Yes, but he was praying for the demise of this musical by a left-wing intelligentsia, so they all wore their political hearts on their sleeves, and I think maybe because they hated Manning Clark’s philosophy, in view of this trend, they wanted the show to fail.
  More results at FactBites »



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