Wisdom in the News

Phronesis: Reflections on rationality and practical wisdom

March 2024 conference

March 1, 2024 | 9:00AM

Social Sciences, Room 122

From the Center for Hellenic Studies 

We are pleased to announce that The Center for Hellenic Studies  at the University of Chicago is organizing a conference on Phronesis on March 1-2, 2024, in collaboration with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) on the basis of a recent initiative between the University of Chicago and the CNRS for the advancement of innovative research. 

Our aim is to explore how we might engage with a set of foundational Hellenic texts, as we consider urgent contemporary questions and try to find solutions. In every epoch, new ethical ideas are needed to enable humanity to thrive and advance. Today, as we grapple with unprecedented technological advances that bring great new challenges— including the climate crisis, rising inequalities, and war—  we hope to be able to establish a dialogue between philosophical and more applied fields in the direction of renewing conversation with potential practical implications.Aristotle's notion of phronesis—typically translated as practical wisdom, or prudence  is a useful guiding principle due to its unique way of understanding human agency by balancing between opposites: rationality and emotion, universal principles and concern for particular problems and action, pragmatism and utopianism, rigidity and flexibility.

For more information on the conference, including the agenda, please visit: https://linguistics.uchicago.edu/events/phronesis-reflections-rationality-and-practical-wisdom