“There is a false prudence, which takes its name from its likeness to true prudence. For since a prudent man is one who disposes well of the things that have to be done for a good end, whoever disposes well of such things as are fitting for an evil end, has false prudence, in far as that which he takes for an end, is good, not in truth but in appearance. Thus man is called “a good robber,” and in this way may speak of “a prudent robber,” by way of similarity, because he devises fitting ways of committing robbery. This is the prudence of which the Apostle says (Rm. 8:6): “The prudence of the flesh is death,” because, to wit, it places its ultimate end in the pleasures of the flesh.”
Est enim quaedam prudentia falsa, vel per similitudinem dicta. Cum enim prudens sit qui bene disponit ea quae sunt agenda propter aliquem bonum finem, ille qui propter malum finem aliqua disponit congruentia illi fini habet falsam prudentiam, inquantum illud quod accipit pro fine non est vere bonum, sed secundum similitudinem, sicut dicitur aliquis bonus latro. Hoc enim modo potest secundum similitudinem dici prudens latro qui convenientes vias adinvenit ad latrocinandum. Et huiusmodi est prudentia de qua apostolus dicit, ad Rom. VIII, prudentia carnis mors est, quae scilicet finem ultimum constituit in delectatione carnis.
– S Th II II 47 13