• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Phronesis (Practical Reason)

Naturalized recently into English, phronesis (φρόνησις) is a Greek term the meaning of which was classically articulated in the ethics of Aristotle (Book VI of the Nicomachean Ethics). There, it connoted practical wisdom, or the capability to make good judgments in action-situations by discerning, and being disposed to do, what is required by those virtues of character (e.g., justice, temperance, courage, patience, and honesty) the exercise of which realizes human flourishing (eudaimonia). Phronesis was itself categorized by Aristotle as an intellectual virtue, that is to say, a cultivated capacity for a kind of truth-disclosing knowing, a kind that he carefully distinguished from other kinds of such knowing on the basis of differences in the makeup of the object domains to which each kind was directed.

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles