Saturday, 26 December 2009

The five intellectual virtues

The five intellectual virtues according to Aristotle:

1. techne: knowing how to do something
2. episteme: knowing that something is the case
3. phronesis: this has an unmistakable social dimension, and can mean anything from 'practical wisdom' to 'human understanding' to 'moral discernment' to 'knowing how to prosper' to 'political acumen' to 'savoir faire', etc.
4. sophia: knowledge of cause and effect
5. nous: typically divine, informs the others, and is a final cause of the others. It is the activity of the divine side of our nature.

Cf. Eric von der Luft, Hegel Society of America, Book Review of Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, tr. Terence Irwin (Indianopolis: Hackett, 1985). Modern Schoolman 66 (1988) 79-80.

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