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Publication Details

Prudentia in the Writings of Marcus Tullius Cicero

(Original title: Termín prudentia v spisoch Marca Tullia Cicerona)
Filozofia, 71 (2016), 5, 401-409.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: Slovak

The term prudent has been introduced into Latin philosophical writings by M. Tullius Cicero as a counterpart of the Greek virtue phronesis. Probably he used it in order to underline his intellectual affinity with some ethical and physical aspects of Plato’s, Aristotleʼs or Stoic thought; or maybe he let himself inspire by the older Latin intellectual tradition. As far as the content of his writings, Cicero holds to the Stoic definition of phronesis in the sense of a practical aspect of knowledge, which should be the virtue mainly of the people involved in politics. Unlike sophia prudent was related to human community: it included rhetorical, intellectual, anticipatory, acting as well as decision making capacities. All of these competences should be practically achieved in the course of one’s life; however, the climax of their improvement was supposed to come in mature years. Cicero’s prudentia thus embodied the ethical aspect of human self-fulfillment for the benefit of the rest of the community.


Cicero, Phronesis, Prudence, Sophia, Stoicism, Wisdom

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