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 ?
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.
For instance, the name given to the runner or boxer, who is so called in virtue of an inborn capacity, is not derived from that of any quality; for lob those capacities have no name assigned to them.
That passion which more than all others caused you to waver on the path of virtue," said the Mason.
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?
Virtue is knowledge, and therefore virtue can be taught.
And is not a similar method to be pursued about the virtues, which are also four in number?
First among the virtues found in the State, wisdom comes into view, and in this I detect a certain peculiarity.
Thus, then, I said, the nature and place in the State of one of the four virtues has somehow or other been discovered.
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.