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What is Practical Wisdom?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Aristotle's constructed argument
  3. The contemplative part of the soul
  4. Practical wisdom
  5. Conclusion

Aristotle within his Nicomachean Ethics defines the different regions of the soul, especially the virtues and functions of each. After all his contemplation over universal ideas, such as the very essence and base of justice and wisdom, he also realized the soul must contain a part to contemplate rational and changing ideas. This he defines in opposition to ?o?í?, or intelligent wisdom, as ????????, or practical wisdom. This complex idea, like Aristotle's soul, has many regions which need to be explained before an understanding of the thing can be obtained.

[...] Aristotle on the other hand argues that he was right in part, specifically in that ???????? is involved in some degree to each virtue but he goes on to say he was also wrong and that each virtue is a separate thing unto itself. He gives the simile that as medicine guides health, so too does practical wisdom guide virtue to action. In summary, Aristotle argued that ???????? is a virtue of thought, which acts in accordance with virtue of character. These two acting together decide what is the choice worthy goal for a given situation, and [...]


[...] ?o?í?, the counterpart of ????????, is a result that starts by gaining nous, or understanding of the specific principles of a science, and then using that nous to form an episteme, or constructed argument. These constructed arguments apply originally to specific circumstances, but eventually give way to an understanding of the world or science as a whole as ?o?í?. This scope of this virtue is similar to the scope of ???????? in that it begins with understanding of a small circumstance, choice, or situation, and then results a much wider understanding. Practical wisdom is entwined at its very beginning not only to action, but also to one's own hexis or disposition. [...]

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