Cardinal virtues  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In some Christian traditions, there are four cardinal virtues:

  • Prudence - able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time
  • Justice - proper moderation between the self-interest and the rights and needs of others
  • Restraint or Temperance - practicing self-control, abstention, and moderation
  • Courage or Fortitude - forbearance, endurance, and ability to confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation

These were derived initially from Plato's scheme (see Protagoras 330b, which also includes piety (hosiotes)) and adapted by Saint Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, and Thomas Aquinas (see Summa Theologica II(I).61). The term "cardinal" comes from the Latin cardo or hinge; the cardinal virtues are so called because they are hinges upon which the door of the moral life swings.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cardinal virtues" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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