Archive for March 25th, 2014

GC Myers--Phronesis Phronesis… involves not only the ability to decide how to achieve a certain end, but also the ability to reflect upon and determine good ends consistent with the aim of living well overall.

— Aristotle


This is a new painting, 8″ by 14″ on paper, that I am calling Phronesis.   It’s a Greek word that the philosopher Aristotle used to differentiate practical wisdom from theoretical philosophy.  Phronesis involves putting gained wisdom into rational, measured action, not merely reflecting upon it.  It is the ability to determine where one wants to be– physically, mentally and spiritually– at a future point and how to achieve that goal.  Phronesis employs  theoretical wisdom  and puts it into rational action.

That’s the five cent version of the concept.  And that’s what I see here.   In a calm fashion, the Red Tree has determined its course, which is to be in unity with a greater universal power or spirit, represented here by the breaking sun and the layers of color in the sky.  It has already recognized the universal truths and is now trying to enact them, trying to become closer to the central truth.

It sounds much more complicated than it might really be. ‘Live lightly’ might just as easily get across what I struggle to say here.  That would probably fit the simple composition of this painting, that  spare elegance which draws me to this piece.  In itself, there is a sort of phronesis taking place, as its painting is an action that takes what little wisdom I have gained and allows me to move a step closer to that same goal shown in it.  Peace and light, really.

Well, enough said.

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