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Prudence In Lipsius’s Monita Et Exempla Politica: Stoic Virtue, Aristotelian Virtue Or Not A Virtue At All?

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Chapter Summary

Prudence is defined in Justus Lipsiuss Monita as acquaintance with facts and events and a correct judgment of them. The tension between theoretical wisdom and practical wisdom (or between wisdom and prudence) is emphasised by the way prudence is attained, by its didactic aspects. In the Monita, Lipsius explains that prudence is generated by three things, namely nature, experience and learning. In the Monita, Lipsius explains that after virtue, of which religion or piety is the most important, prudence is required for a prince and for those involved in the state. Thus the importance of prudence is again acknowledged, but prudence is not a virtue. The distinction between virtue and prudence is also present in the Politica, where Lipsius states that two things lead to common good: virtue and prudence, and that the first is to be seen in actions and the second in life itself.

Keywords: Aristotelian virtue; Justus Lipsius; Monita; Politica; prudence



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