"Phronesis" on tour: Cultural adaptability of aristotelian ethical notions

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 10 (4):323-336 (2000)
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: How might bioethics take account of cultural diversity? Can practical wisdom of an Aristotelian sort be applied across cultures? After showing that practical wisdom involves both intellectual cleverness and moral virtue, it is argued that both these components have universality. Hence practical wisdom must be universal as well. Hellenic ethical thought neither depended on outdated theoretical notions nor limited itself to the Greek world, but was in fact developed with constant awareness of cultural differences, so it arguably works as well in other times and places as when formulated. Even the eudaemonistic setting for practical wisdom is unproblematic



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Ronald Polansky
Duquesne University

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