On Prudence

Paul Lemley
Mar 19, 2018 · 7 min read

Prudence gets a bad rap.

Immanuel Kant, recognized as a central figure in modern philosophy, put prudence on trial against morality, arguing that doing what is morally right supersedes any debate whether the means to a specific end, in the long term, are in fact, justified.

Robert Hariman, in his book Prudence: Classical Virtue, Postmodern Practice, explains that Kant is indifferent to prudence. So much so that he…