Extent and limits of prudence as an intellectual virtue


Miguel Ángel Belmonte Sánchez


Espíritu: ISSN 0014-0716, Year 64, Issue149 (january-june), 2015, pages 11-23




According to Aquinas prudence is an extremely necessary virtue for human life. Due to its subject, it is one of the intellectual virtues and makes its possessor good in a moral sense. Aquinas also includes it among cardinal virtues and thoroughly considers supernatural infused prudence. Furthermore, prudence requires a right appetite, the perception of the singular, a higher wisdom, is different from moral science, synderesis, and from the act of conscience. The overall consideration of these matters allows to state that -clearly unlike relativist and essentialist approaches-, as far as Aquinas is concerned, prudence reaches its full extent precisely in the ascertainment of its limits.

Key words:

Prudence, intellectual virtues, Thomas Aquinas, limits



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