In Praise of ‘Prudentia’

The virtue of ‘Prudentia’ In Aquinas’s teaching, Is ‘practical wisdom’ in Choice and decision. It’s a Bayesian thing, Not just logical stages. Which a life of experience And virtue engages. Grounded in reason But felt in the boots, You can’t teach Pudentia, We must find our own routes Each person’s is different, Our wisdom’s our … Continue reading In Praise of ‘Prudentia’

Pieper on Prudence

Josef Pieper turns out to be my kind of ethicist: straightforward, practical and direct. What he sets out on ‘prudence’ (aka Thomas Aquinas’s prudentia or ‘practical wisdom’) chimes entirely with what I think ‘good’ looks like in working life. Here’s what Pieper has to say: The first prerequisite for the perfection of “prudence” is providentia, … Continue reading Pieper on Prudence

Relevant Complexity 5) Age

Talking to someone at work, she said she’d been surprised that a very experienced chap in his late 50s had come on a training course. We concluded that age shouldn’t matter in deciding who gets training. I know plenty of pig-headed twenty and thirtysomethings who’d have got less and will give less as a result … Continue reading Relevant Complexity 5) Age


At the core of Aristotle’s account of ethics and virtue is ‘Prohairesis’ – the central moral character. I increasingly think of it like a copper sulphate crystal growing on a piece of thread. When you do the classic school experiment, knotted threads provide the core around which a copper sulphate crystal can form, from a … Continue reading Crystallisation