Prudence is the ability that some people have to analyze existing variables and assess their possible consequences before making a decision. It is usually synonymous with wisdom, moderation, caution, maturity and reflection.
A personal value
Many thinkers refer to prudence as one of the great virtues of the human being. It is a difficult value to forge and that cannot be achieved by mere appearance, but it is closely related to the way of acting nowadays. It is very difficult to remain calm and have a moment of reflection before making any kind of decision. Most of the mistakes made are associated with lack of prudence. Precipitation, submission to the emotions, the bad mood and perception misrepresented the reality is without doubt the cradle for many mistakes.
Even so, prudence does not eliminate the possibility of error. In fact, this quality is consolidated based on the countless mistakes of the past. One who, at the same time, has the ability to learn from mistakes ultimately gets a valuable reward. Thus, this quality encourages people to analyze and value certain aspects that in previous situations they left unnoticed with serious consequences.
Prudence and Aristotle
Until the arrival of Aristotle, great philosophers such as Plato and Socrates had always spoken of prudence as a concept equivalent to wisdom. In other words, prudence was nothing more than a reflection of wisdom. However, Aristotle added a new aspect to this line of thought . According to his explanation, prudence is a manifestation of knowledge, as well as the very virtue of one of the parts of the rational soul.
Nevertheless, Aristotle does not refer to the wisdom only as a science or art, but explains in his book Ethics Nicomachean that prudence is understood as a correct representation of the logical and real, as well as differentiating right from wrong.
Therefore, prudence is focused on human affairs as well as on the reflection of aspects that make deliberation possible. In this way, Aristotle indicates the difference between the prudent individual and the others because of the capacity for deliberation that leads to discerning the best option for the moment.