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Prudence [φρόνησις]: the cardinal virtue of Epicureanism.

The exercise of prudence is recommended by Epicurus particularly in cases requiring critical judgment regarding the "2nd category" of natural, but unnecessary desires: if greater harm and pain may follow the short-term pleasure of gratifying such a desire, it is best avoided (e.g. indulging in a sexual escapade, and contracting a venereal disease); if greater benefit and pleasure may follow short-term pain and/or displeasure, perhaps it should be suffered (e.g. swallowing a bitter medication, but recovering from illness thanks to it). Such cases are loci classici of Epicurean prudence.

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