"Ironically the pragmatic meaning of prudence is exactly the opposite of its traditional meaning. Traditionally prudence was not considered contrary to virtue; it was the highest virtue: It meant the wisdom to practice all the virtues in the right time and circumstance."
The Virtue of Prudence
"[Prudence] is defined as the intellectual virtue which rightly directs particular human acts, through rectitude of the appetite, toward a good end. Emotional well-being, we will argue, comes about through a certain structuring of the entire network of human emotions, one that results from a proper disposing of the emotions by the virtues. If we are correct, then prudence is the mother of emotional health. And if virtue is the secret to looking beautiful, then prudence is, in many ways, the mother of beautiful character. For it is prudence that determines the mean of reason in all human actions and situations.
Prudence, however, is not merely an intellectual virtue; it is also a moral virtue. A moral virtue is a habit that makes its possessor good."