Summary and Analysis Book VI: Chapter IX



Practical wisdom is the first principle of good deliberation. It enables us to evaluate a situation or problem in terms of its general characteristics and to decide the right way and time to act. Practical wisdom makes it possible correctly to assess the means to an end by giving a true conception of that end and a good standard for judging approaches to that end.

There is an important difference between good and correct deliberation. A morally weak or bad man can deliberate correctly and can attain the goal which he has decided is right for him even though the goal is bad, but the result of good deliberation is always a good thing. By the same token, it is possible to achieve a good goal by the wrong means through ignorance or bad judgment, but the means selected by good deliberation are always good.