Reference Shelf - Phronesis Plus

Edition updated April 10, 2023

by Bill Schmitt – a service of “Phronesis in Pieces” at


Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle

Phronesis in Aristotle by David Corey

(99+) Phronesis in Aristotle | David Corey -

Journal article: Phronesis (Practical Wisdom) as a Type of Contextual Integrative Thinking  by Kristjan Kristjansson, Blaine Fowers, David Pollard in Review of General Psychology (September 2021)

From the Abstract in this open-access journal article:

Coinciding with the recent psychological attention paid to the broad topic of wisdom, interest in the intellectual virtue of phronesis or practical wisdom has been burgeoning within pockets of psychology, philosophy, professional ethics, and education. However, these discourses are undercut by frequently unrecognized tensions, lacunae, ambivalences, misapplications, and paradoxes. While a recent attempt at conceptualizing the phronesis construct for the purpose of psychological measurement offers promise, little is known about how phronesis develops psychologically, what motivates it, or how it can be cultivated.

Substack article: From the Multiversity Cave: Aristotle and Phronesis  by Lee Trepanier in his “Then Again” Substack publication


“That’s So Second Millennium”

Hosted by Dr. Paul Giesting and Bill Schmitt. Exploring the intersection of science, faith, philosophy, and the experience of human dignity as our understanding of these subjects continue to grow in the Third Millennium. 


            Hosted by journalist Bari Weiss

“The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast

            Hosted by Jordan B. Peterson.

According to JBP podcasts I have listened to recently, 1% of criminals commit 65% of crimes. Separately, he says studies show that about 3% of the population are psychopaths.

“Outspoken” by Dr. Naomi Wolf

“The Death of Journalism” by John Ziegler and Liz Habib

“System Update” by Glenn Greenwald on Rumble


De Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame

McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

University of Houston: Honors Program in Phronesis

Faith & Reason, Franciscan University of Steubenville

The Lamp: A Catholic Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, etc.

Sapir: Ideas for a Thriving Jewish Future

The G20 statement (Nov. 2022) of what governments are doing to implement Agenda 2030. Noteworthy globalist goals which are already progressing. As published by the White House.

The Festivus Report on government wasteful spending as compiled by Sen. Rand Paul. This is the 2022 report based on laws passed and signed.

Government Accountability Office index of more than 57,000 reports and testimonies it has prepared on a wide variety of policy-related subjects.

The State of Local News from the Northwestern U Local News Initiative


Faithful Citizenship site: US Conference of Catholic Bishops

Letter from a Birmingham Jail: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Brothers All” encyclical: Pope Francis (Fratelli Tutti, 2020)

“On the Dignity and Vocation of Women” letter: Pope John Paul II (1988)

A list of all genders : The Transgender District (scroll down for progressives’ list)

A list of words to abandon or replace in everyday speech: From the Stanford University group, “People of Color in Technology.”

The entire list of banned words from Stanford. It was a product of People of Color in Technoloy. It has some value in learning history and raising awareness, and it is probably an easy matter of removal through auto-correct. But people shouldn’t be demanding perfection of themselves or others in everyday speech.

Video Urbi et Orbi 2020: Pope Francis blesses world in empty St. Peter’s Square

Linus on the meaning of Christmas: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

            Bonus: Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi (full composition)

            Matthew Walther describes the program as apologetics for the atomic age:

"Men of other generations," Fulton Sheen wrote, "went to God from the order in the universe; the modern man goes to God through the disorder in himself." It is with an interrogation of the "invisible frustrations, complexes, and anxieties of his own personality" that our hero begins the greatest popular work of post-war American religious art. Every bit as much as the soon-to-be beatified host of Life is Worth LivingA Charlie Brown Christmas is apologetics for the atomic age, a gentle but unmistakable rebuke to the reductive psychologizing and hubristic materialism that posed a far greater threat to Christian belief than the Soviet Union. It is, if anything, more relevant now than when it first aired. – Matthew Walther, editor, The Lamp

The Cardinal Newman Society released policy guidelines that Catholic schools can use in formulating their statements on mission, philosophy, and faith. Among other things, the guidelines incorporate insights into Catholic school responses to legal challenges.

Institute on the Catechism: This process announced by the U.S. Catholic bishops in November 2022 will develop new approaches for an “evangelizing catechesis” that helps young adults and all Catholics build a personal relationship with Christ in a society that is often opposed to religion. Based on the Directory for Catechesis and addressing such concerns as religious disaffiliation among youth, the growing Hispanic Catholic population, and the use of technology in teaching the faith, the process will include collaboration with the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and the Augustine Institute.

List of annual messages from Pope Francis for World Communications Day

Edward Feser blog – National Review called him “one of the best contemporary writers on philosophy.” Peter Kreeft said, “Feser’s on Stun.”

Song:  “What’s Going to Happen to the Children When There Aren’t Any More Adults?”  by Noel Coward

Video: Start of the Auburn University Revival/Prayer Marathon

Audio: Bari Weiss podcast on Asbury University.

Deep article about ChatGPT, the AI chatbot, by Stephen Wolfram

Letter from the Birmingham City Jail by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

An overview of generational theory (see my Substack essay):

Audio: Chris Hedges commentary expressing concern about the judicial system’s treatment of some of those arrested during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Video: TED Talk in which Alex Kripmann gives a remarkable demonstration of the current power of virtual reality and hologram technology as seen using Microsoft’s “Hololens”

If you are a fan of Hillsdale College, you are probably happy to hear that it now faces more competition. I heard on a podcast that two start-up schools have similar approaches, offering a traditional/classical liberal-arts education. You may want to find out more about their course offerings:

University of Austin … “dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth”

New College of Florida … re-established by Gov. DeSantis as the state’s liberal arts honors college       

Ralston College … “To think is to be free” — Jordan Peterson is chancellor


United States of Fear: How America Fell Victim to a Mass Delusional Psychosis

            by Dr. Mark McDonald

The Book of Virtues  by William Bennett (article about book’s 30th anniversary)

Directory for Catechesis from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (2020). It will be central to a new national initiative for teaching Catholics their faith, called the Institute on the Catechism.

The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Benedictine Abbot Jean-Charles Nault

“Speaking with the Heart” – World Communications Day message for 2023 from Pope Francis

New Proofs for the Existence of God     by Robert Spitzer, SJ

The Bill of Obligations: Ten Habits of Good Citizens   by Richard Haass

Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan

The Aftermath: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America   by Philip Bump

Uncovered: How the Media Got Cozy with Power, Abandoned Its Principles, and Lost the People   by Steve Krakauer

Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids and How to Break the Trance   by Nicholas Kardaras


Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument. – Desmond Tutu

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent – Eleanor Roosevelt

The average man does not want to be free; he merely wants to be safe—HL Mencken

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”—Aristotle

Phronesis is a creative act, especially when navigating the unknown …. It’s not just what happens when we’re faced with dilemmas, paradoxes, and crucible moments. Of course, that’s where our strength of character shines and guides our action choices, which is why we mark it as an act of practical wisdom.”  -- Elena Antonacopoulou

You have to be willing to do the ridiculous so God can do the impossible. – Mother Angelica

"We do not need a truth to serve us, we need a truth we can serve." - Jacques Maritain

“We have bought into the ‘nothing buttery’ of reductionist materialism: the human person is nothing but a trousered ape; sexual desire is nothing but animal urge; beautiful paintings are nothing but blobs of ink on a canvas; morality is nothing but a sophisticated herd instinct; and the whole of reality is nothing but the assemblies of matter we can taste, touch, smell, see and hear.” – Fredric Heidemann

John Ziegler of the “Death of Journalism” podcast coined the term “News as Therapy.”

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams

A comment in The Washington Post about the “Havana Syndrome,” in which some US officials and military in Cuba reported mysterious health symptoms: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

“I’m an old man now and I’ve seen a great many problems in my life, except that most of them never happened.” – unknown

What does a soul look like? It looks like a body. In this life, they are inseparable. –unknown

What is your favorite state motto? Kansas has a candidate: “per aspera ad astra,” or “through hardship to the stars,” or “to the stars through the adversities.” Note that the root of the word aspirations is akin to the root of the word passions. Our passions take on meaning when they involve action, adversity, even hardship.

“Since [narcissists] deep down feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault. Since they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad. They project their own evil onto the world. They never think of themselves as evil, on the other hand, they consequently see much evil in others.”  -- M. Scott Peck

“All happy families are the same; each unhappy family is unhappy in its ow way.” – Leo Tolstoy

“God’s first book was the created world. His second book was the Bible.” – unknown

The world suffers from “cardiosclerosis,” a hardening of the heart. There is a need for more tenderness. – Pope Francis


Now in my second calendar year of publishing a “Phronesis in Pieces” newsletter on Substack, I have started an ancillary project as a communicator informed by the Catholic faith. I admit to being an amateur but avid explorer of the virtue of phronesis, which Aristotle introduced into our lexicon. as a doorway into a mode for evangelizing today’s ailing, challenged culture.

My theory is that many people are seeing the need for a more robust adoption of phronesis as practical wisdom that guides virtuous actions which can help to heal people and solve problems.

I accept my position as one small voice expressing solidarity with many intelligent people of good will from such fields as philosophy, the classics, public affairs, psychology, American Studies, communications, theology, and other branches of the humanities and liberal arts.

My goal is to assist members of a growing “phronesis community,” hoping that my observations—based on my experience in journalism, the Catholic Church, government policy, and education—can contribute to big-picture conversations.

The next steps under consideration involve setting up this complementary “Phronesis Plus” set of resources, located behind a modestly priced paywall, available to readers who continue to enjoy the commentaries I offer to free subscribers.

I envision “premium” content—a more methodical curation of my own discoveries in this broad arena. Imagine a growing collection of secular and Christian information, creatively but soberly presented, about books, documents, articles, and other digital publications or posts, verbal and visual.

My curiosity, not strictly “objective” but diligently open-minded, will make me an “online tour guide,” pointing toward better knowledge of the content producers and better understanding of their insights. Perhaps I can spark, and participate in, some of the important conversations aimed to increase clear, constructive, virtuous outreach in the public square.

The twice-monthly editions of Phronesis in Pieces I have written since April 2022 will continue as free content—the groundwork of the approach I will take. Please consider subscribing to receive the premium content and encourage my endeavor. Also, send comments and suggestions via the chat feature or via email at (mentioning Phronesis in the subject line).

Thank you for your continued support and friendship. You are indispensable for my motivation to be a servant and steward of wisdom in 2023 and beyond.

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