virtue


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virtue

[Lat.,=manliness], in philosophy, quality of good in human conduct. The cardinal virtues, as presented by Plato, were wisdom (or prudence), courage, temperance, and justice. They are to be interpreted as descriptive of conduct rather than innate qualities and are achieved through proper training and discipline. They have been called natural virtues, as contrasted with the Christian theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. As early as the 14th cent. the Christian virtues were combined with the Platonic virtues and called the seven cardinal virtues, figuring largely, with the opposing seven deadly sins, in such medieval literature as Dante's Divine Comedy. Some contemporary philosophers, such as Alasdair MacIntyreMacIntyre, Alasdair C.
, 1929–, American philosopher. He teaches at the Univ. of Notre Dame in Indiana. His major contributions have come in ethics. In his highly influential book After Virtue
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, have argued that traditional notions of virtue provide the best framework for reflection in ethics.

virtue

any of the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) or theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity)
References in classic literature ?
Socrates has no difficulty in showing that virtue is a good, and that goods, whether of body or mind, must be under the direction of knowledge.
Socrates returns to the consideration of the question 'whether virtue is teachable,' which was denied on the ground that there are no teachers of it: (for the Sophists are bad teachers, and the rest of the world do not profess to teach).
This Dialogue is an attempt to answer the question, Can virtue be taught?
For pallor and duskiness of complexion are called qualities, inasmuch as we are said to be such and such in virtue of them, not only if they originate in natural constitution, but also if they come about through long disease or sunburn, and are difficult to remove, or indeed remain throughout life.
Those conditions, however, which arise from causes which may easily be rendered ineffective or speedily removed, are called, not qualities, but affections: for we are not said to be such virtue of them.
I mean such conditions as insanity, irascibility, and so on: for people are said to be mad or irascible in virtue of these.
And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing needful: to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time.
Thus pondering, and cradled by forty thoughts, it overtaketh me all at once--sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the virtues.
For, if you reflect a moment, you will see that, while it is easy to choose what virtues we would have our wife possess, it is all but impossible to imagine those faults we would desire in her, which I think most lovers would admit add piquancy to the loved one, that fascinating wayward imperfection which paradoxically makes her perfect.
He forgot what the seventh virtue was and could not recall it.
I must also inform you," said the Rhetor, "that our Order delivers its teaching not in words only but also by other means, which may perhaps have a stronger effect on the sincere seeker after wisdom and virtue than mere words.
That passion which more than all others caused you to waver on the path of virtue," said the Mason.