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DOI 10.12887/34-2021-3-135-07

Iwona BARWICKA-TYLEK, A Future Which Does Not Neglect the Past: On a Prudent Application of Memory

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One of the most important challenges facing social sciences is to provide the foundation for a new paradigm that would allow them to regain the prestige they deserve and release them from the obligation to emulate natural science – the obligation forced upon them by modernity. The heritage paradigm (G. Ashworth) is one of the proposals that get more and more popular in this respect. It seems to be all the more attractive if one accepts the opinion of many contemporary historians and sociologists that the turn of the 21st century is the beginning of a new era of memory or commemoration (P. Nora). “Heritage” is a term borrowed from legal sciences, therefore the article uses broadly understood jurisprudence to outline a possible perspective for discussing both the modern paradigm and the new paradigm of heritage to identify the possible strengths and shortcomings of the latter. To achieve that, it refers to the concept of “practical wisdom,” or prudence (the Greek phronesis or the Latin prudentia), derived from Aristotle’s philosophy and then embedded in the political tradition of humanism. Prudence is the kind of knowledge that relies on time: both historical and individual time, as reflected in Titian’s Allegory of Prudence. Prudence combines judgment, conditioned by the ‘old’ past experience (and here it shows its reliance on history and memory) and action, which is always concrete and future-oriented and so it requires the questioning what has been memorized and stored in individual or collective memory. These peculiar features of prudence make it beneficial in negotiating between individual freedom and social order, which is the crucial problem of any political community (B. Crick).

Keywords: social science, practical wisdom, jurisprudence, politics, humanism

Contact: Katedra Historii Doktryn Politycznych i Prawnych, Wydział Prawa i Administracji, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, ul. Bracka 12, Cracow, Poland
E-mail: i.tylek@gmail.com

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887