1st Edition

Practical Wisdom Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives

Edited By Mario De Caro, Maria Silvia Vaccarezza Copyright 2021
    198 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    198 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Featuring original essays from leading scholars in philosophy and psychology, this volume investigates and rethinks the role of practical wisdom in light of the most recent developments in virtue theory and moral, social and developmental psychology.

    The concept of phronesis has long held a prominent place in the development of Aristotelian virtue ethics and moral education. However, the nature and development of phronesis is still in need of investigation, especially because of the new insights that in recent years have come from both philosophy and science. The essays in this volume contribute to the debate about practical wisdom by elucidating its role in empirical psychology and advancing important new research questions. They address various topics related to practical wisdom and its development, including honesty, ecocentric phronesis, social cognitive theory, practical wisdom in limited-information contexts, Whole Trait Theory, skill models, the reciprocity of virtue, and challenges from situationism.

    Practical Wisdom will interest researchers and advanced students working in virtue ethics, moral psychology, and moral education.


    Mario De Caro and Maria Silvia Vaccarezza

    1. The Reciprocity of the Virtues

    Dan Russell

    2. The Priority of Phronesis: How to Rescue Virtue Theory from Its Critics

    Mario De Caro, Massimo Marraffa and Maria Silvia Vaccarezza

    3. Flirting with Skepticism about Practical Wisdom

    Christian B. Miller

    4. Phronesis and Whole Trait Theory: An Integration

    Nancy E. Snow, Jennifer Cole Wright, and Michael T. Warren

    5. Differentiating the Skills of Practical Wisdom

    Matt Stichter

    6. Practical Wisdom and Generalization: A theoretical and empirical investigation on the effects of limited information

    Claudia Navarini, Allegra Indraccolo, and Riccardo Brunetti

    7. The Developmental Science of Phronesis

    Daniel Lapsley

    8. Species-Typical Phronesis for a Living Planet

    Darcia Narvaez


    Mario De Caro is Professor of Moral Philosophy at Roma Tre University and regularly a visiting professor at Tufts. He is Hilary Putnam’s literary executor and was a Fulbright fellow at Harvard. With David Macarthur, he edited Naturalism in Question (2004) and Naturalism and Normativity (2010) and is working at Liberal Naturalism .

    Maria Silvia Vaccarezza is Assistant Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Genoa (Italy), and Secretary of Aretai – Center on Virtues, based at the same University. The journals where she has published lately are Ethical Theory and Moral Practice , Review of Philosophy and Psychology , International Journal of Philosophical Studies , and Journal of Value Inquiry .

    "Practical wisdom is central to the virtue ethical tradition, but has been neglected in the debates over the psychology of ethical virtue and educational methods of fostering it. This volume should transform those debates by turning their attention away from behavioural outcomes and towards sound practical reasoning and judgment."Jonathan Webber, Cardiff University, UK

    "De Caro and Vaccarezza have put together a nice collection of interesting essays, each of which adroitly integrates perspectives from both psychology and philosophy on a variety of topics integral to the study of practical wisdom. This volume should be on the "wish list" of any scholars working on practical wisdom and moral psychology."Audrey L. Anton, Western Kentucky University, USA