XI —PRACTICAL WISDOM: A MUNDANE ACCOUNT

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

The prevailing accounts of Aristotle's view of practical wisdom pay little attention to all the intellectual capacities discussed in Nicomachean Ethics Book 6. They also contrast the phronimos with the wicked, the continent or the incontinent, rather than with those who have ‘natural virtue’ (innate or habituated), and thereby they neglect the importance of experience, through which those capacities are acquired. When we consider them, we can see what sort of experience is needed and hence what sort aspirants to full virtue should be trying to acquire. It turns out that much of the knowledge such experience yields is just plain worldly knowledge. But it is not to be despised on that account. The phronimos must meet a threshold of knowledge that he will, indeed, share with some of the wicked, but will have a superior version that goes beyond theirs.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9264.2006.00198.x

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy University of Auckland Auckland New Zealand

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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