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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L078-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 22, 2024, from

Article Summary

The word ‘prudence’ is used in several ways in contemporary English, and its different philosophical senses to some extent reflect that variety. Traditionally, prudence is the ability to make morally discerning choices in general; but the term is also used to denote a habit of cautiousness in practical affairs; most recently, attempts have also been made to identify prudence with practical rationality, perhaps even with the pursuit of the agent’s own interests, without any specifically moral implications.

Citing this article:
Hughes, Gerard J.. Prudence, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L078-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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