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Catholic Dictionary




The virtue of prudence. It gently controls all other virtues and guides all human actions, since it considers not merely generalities--for these do not really move us to achieve--but also the singular and particular things that are the objects of action. Prudence is practical, that is to say, it is the principle of acting. Because they are more experienced, some people who lack a scientific theory can be more successful with practical issues than those who possess a large fund of speculative knowledge; thus a doctor who knows what is in fact the right food is more effective than one who is merely a theoretical dietician.