, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 221–227

Politics and Practical Wisdom: Rethinking Aristotle’s Account of Phronesis


DOI: 10.1007/s11245-012-9117-z

Cite this article as:
Surprenant, C.W. Topoi (2012) 31: 221. doi:10.1007/s11245-012-9117-z


This paper examines the nature of Aristotelian phronesis, how it is attained, and who is able to attain it inside the polis. I argue that, for Aristotle, attaining phronesis does not require an individual to perfect his practical wisdom to the point where he never makes a mistake, but rather it is attained by certain individuals who are unable to make a mistake of this kind due to their education, habituation, and position in society.


Aristotle Phronesis Practical wisdom Political science 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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