previous next
the sense of principle.1

It therefore follows that Prudence is a truth-attaining rational quality, concerned with action in relation to the things that are good for human beings. [7]

Moreover, we can speak of excellence in Art,2 but not of excellence in Prudence. Also in Art voluntary error is not so bad as involuntary, whereas in the sphere of Prudence it is worse, as it is in the sphere of the virtues. It is therefore clear that Prudence is an excellence or virtue, and not an Art. [8]

Of the two parts of the soul possessed of reason, Prudence must be the virtue of one, namely, the part that forms opinions3; for Opinion deals with that which can vary, and so does Prudence. But yet Prudence is not a rational quality merely, as shown by the fact that a purely rational faculty can be forgotten, whereas a failure in Prudence is not a mere lapse of memory.4 6.

Scientific Knowledge is a mode of conception dealing with universals and things that are of necessity; and demonstrated truths and all scientific knowledge (since this involves reasoning) are derived from first principles. Consequently the first principles from which scientific truths are derived cannot themselves be reached by Science; nor yet are they apprehended by Art, nor by Prudence. To be matter of Scientific Knowledge a truth must be demonstrated by deduction from other truths;

1 i.e., to destroy our perception of the true end of life, which constitutes the major premise of the practical syllogism.

2 τέχνη, Art, is here (as in 7.1) used in a neutral sense of a systematic procedure for making something, or a body of principles for such a procedure—one may be good at it or bad; whereas φρόνησις, Prudence or practical wisdom, itself denotes an excellence, not a neutral sphere in which one may excel or the reverse. Elsewhere in the book τέχνη has the positive sense of artistic excellence or technical skill.

3 Called in 1.6 the Calculative Faculty.

4 A loss of Prudence is felt to involve a moral lapse, which shows that it is not a purely intellectual quality.

load focus Greek (J. Bywater)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: