Twenty-two testable hypotheses about phronesis: outlining an educational research programme

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The concept of phronesis enters educational discourse at various levels of engagement, and it continues to fascinate and frustrate educational theorists in equal measure. This article begins by charting the vagaries of three educational discourses on phronesis, and by eliciting insights from the recently burgeoning wisdom research within psychology. Mindful of the fact that making progress in the educational study of phronesis is not only a conceptual or philosophical endeavour but also an empirical one, the article elicits and illustrates 22 testable (but as yet mostly untested) hypotheses about phronesis from the Aristotelian and neo-Aristotelian literatures and hence lays the foundation of an educational research programme on phronesis. A serviceable conceptualisation will need to offer ways to evaluate the educational credibility of each hypothesis in real life, rather than just serving as a new philosophical plaything.


Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Early online date4 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2021


  • Aristotle, character development, education for wisdom, phronesis

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