This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

The exercise of prudence

Just as the phrase “primacy of conscience” is easily politicized into a meaningless slogan, so also the concept of “prudential judgement” is often thrown about in such a way that becomes nothing more than an excuse used to justify any type of action or ideology that an individual prefers. But prudence, like conscience, requires progressive formation, and the individual who neglects this preliminary step is not justified in defending his decisions by saying he is acting according to prudence. To understand what is meant by “preliminary formation,” we can refer once more to St. Thomas, who considered the virtue of prudence to have eight parts: memory, understanding, docility, diligence, reason, foresight, circumspection, and caution.[1] However, after the fashion of the Compendium and for the sake of clarity, we will describe the five most prominent parts here. The interested reader can refer to the relevant articles of the Summa for an elaboration of all eight.[2]

[1] ST II-II, q. 48.

[2] ST II-II, qq. 48-49.

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