Arquivo para November 8th, 2023

Prudence and happiness

08 Nov

Breaking the rules or getting out of the box, there are even books encouraging throwing everything away, is different from what the Greeks thought, of course a life that is going wrong needs to be analyzed.

I used the word happiness, because the word used by the Greeks is “Good life”, which in its current connotation means eating, drinking, spending and sleeping, but it was not the conception of Aristotle and other ancient philosophers.

In Nicomachean Ethics, the philosopher demonstrates that to achieve the “good life” we must take into account our instinct, sensitivity and intelligence and, through the conjunction of these three elements, cultivate our best side, because, for example, instinct can be a trait of personality that does not lead to balance, this is where the idea of ​​prudence comes in.

In book governs science, and prudence (phónesis) governs ethics, however the Greeks believed in an absolute science, capable of knowing the deepest structure of Being.

Such a core is eternal, immutable, absolute, and the ethics that is a consequence of this is practical science.

In it, prudence governs temperance, which is what will govern our instincts, it is what determines the good exercise of temperance, the wise person in ethical decisions is the one capable of finding the middle ground (ne quid nimis: nothing in excess), that is one of the practices.

It contains virtue (arethé) and in the soul there are three types of functions: irrational (nutrition, growth, etc.), motivational (generating actions) and rational (linked to our cognitive capacity that makes us capable of achieving true).

Just to give a practical example, whoever controls personal finances could include a description field in inputs and outputs, an explanation of the reason for spending or obtaining the resource.

For Aristotle, virtue is something that occurs in the soul, that is, our interiority, so he divides the virtues into ethical (courage, generosity, friendship, justice, etc.) and dianoetic (wisdom, temperance, intelligence, etc.).

So we can change a saying and now say that “the habit makes the monk”, now not with outer clothing, but with inner clothing, virtues create “virtuous circles” in us.