First then let us assert that Wisdom and Prudence, being
as they are the virtues of the two parts of the intellect respectively, are necessarily
desirable in themselves, even if neither produces any effect.
Secondly, they do in fact produce an effect: Wisdom produces Happiness, not in the sense
in which medicine produces health, but in the sense in which healthiness is the cause of
health. For Wisdom is a part of Virtue as a whole, and therefore by its possession, or
rather by its exercise, renders a man happy.
Also Prudence as well as Moral Virtue determines the complete performance of man's proper
function: Virtue ensures the rightness of the end we aim at, Prudence ensures the
rightness of the means we adopt to gain that end.
（The fourth part1
of the soul on the other hand, the nutritive faculty, has no virtue
contributing to the proper function of man, since it has no power to act or not to
But we must go a little deeper into the objection that Prudence does not render men more
capable of performing noble and just actions. Let us start with the following
consideration. As some people, we maintain, perform just acts and yet are not just men
（for instance, those who do what the law enjoins but do it unwillingly, or in
ignorance, or for some ulterior object, and not for the sake of the actions themselves,
although they are as a matter of fact doing what they ought to do and all that a good man
should）, on the other hand it appears, there is a state of mind in which a man
may do these various acts with the result that he really is a good man: I mean when he
does them from choice, and for the sake