(Greek: "reasoning, insight", derived from phronein, "to think")

In the philosophical works of Plato, phronesis describes that virtue which is dependent upon reason, and which is the prerequisite for all civic virtues. In Aristotle, the meaning is restricted somewhat, applying only to "common sense", i.e. the insight provided by reason into the proper behaviour in a particular situation.

Thus, phronesis is a "virtue of the mind", whereas the actual will to do good is dependent upon the moral virtues. A given act is thus the result of both an intellectual and a moral decision-making process.

In phronesis the universal and the particular meet - through phronesis a particular action may be dictated by universal reasons.