A Forgotten Moral Value: Prudence

  • Zsófia Bécsi Senior Lecturer, University of Pécs
Keywords: prudence, virtues, changes, complex virtue, aspects of time, A13, B12, I29


What we consider a virtue at a certain age depends on a lot of circumstances. It must also be taken into account at which age we can interpret which virtue at all. Prudence is a virtue whose importance and role can also be measured in the usage of words of the given era. Nowadays, very few people know the term, but explaining the content of it is a difficulty in itself, let alone transferring it from the passive to the active vocabulary. The real stake of the question is not a linguistic, but an ethical one. First of all, I examine the meaning of the concept, and then I turn to how Adam Smith analyses it in his work The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Next, I examine which thinkers influenced Smith's theories about prudence and which contemporaries in the Enlightenment had similar or different opinions about the same concept. Finally, I evaluate the importance of all the features that prudence includes in the conditions of the 21st century, and what possibilities and ways there are for their linguistic expression.

How to Cite
Bécsi, Z. (2024). A Forgotten Moral Value: Prudence. Köz-Gazdaság - Review of Economic Theory and Policy, 19(2), 153-159. https://doi.org/10.14267/RETP2024.02.10
Special Section: Adam Smith Revisited