Practical Wisdom, or Thinking about What to Do
Andrew M. Yuengert
Chapter Chapter 3 in Approximating Prudence, 2012, pp 33-46 from Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract The central element in the Aristotelian account of choice and action is “prudence,” or phronesis. I will not, however, use the term “prudence,” having instead opted for the term “practical wisdom.” The modern meaning of prudence is so different from the meaning of phronesis that any attempt to use the term will assuredly fail to communicate the richness of the Aristotelian tradition of human reasoning in action. Modern prudence is the pursuit of self-interest narrowly defined, and is often placed in conflict with moral and social imperatives. Aristotle’s prudence is thinking about doing, and embraces every important consideration that bears on action and the wellbeing of the acting person: his interest narrowly defined, his social nature and communal responsibilities, and his orientation toward the transcendent.
Keywords: Animal Nature; Theoretical Knowledge; Practical Wisdom; Major Premise; Human Good (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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