The inquiry into phronêsis has a definite place in the development of Aristotle’s ethical theory, after the definitions of happiness and of human virtue, as a complement to them. Phronêsis is the quality of the practically wise man, which, to be understood, needs the preliminary clarifications of some more basic concepts. One of Aristotle’s more profound teachings in NE vi is that in practical matters success is important. If he thinks that it is appropriate to do some action leading to our happiness, or for the best state of our family and our country, he cannot afford to fail. If we ask what qualities Aristotle considers typical of the practically wise man, a most important one is the capacity to assess a given situation and to find what is the best and more effective way of acting in it.
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