User:Alti/More on virtues

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The cardinal virtues, either four or seven

In classical antiquity, there were said to be four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance, and courage.

A compiled work of fiction, Seven Cardinal Virtues ed. Alison Fell, lists the cardinal virtues as charity, chastity, generosity, fortitude, humility, justice and patience.

The theological virtues

Aquinas added three theological virtues to the mix, namely faith, hope and charity.

Three aspects of the virtues

In competitive debating, it is sometimes taken that motions should be divided into three: those concerning matters of fact, matters of value and matters of policy. It seems to me that these aspects find themselves in natural correspondence with three aspects of the virtues, with fact corresponding to the epistemic side of the virtues, and the practical side of the virtues being divided into the aspect concerned with values or ends and the aspect concerned with action, policy, and planning.

Virtue ethics

Virtue ethics is approaches to ethics that place a central focus on accounts of the virtues, for instance arguing that much of what we regard as being good is cultivation of virtue, or arguing that fundamental goods such as justice can only be understood through the lens of understanding what makes up the character of a just community. MacIntyre (1981) provides an influential case that moral philosophy should be oriented towards virtue ethics, while Skidelsky & Skidelsky (2012) found a practical argument in economic policy on a virtue-theoretic foundation.


  1. (MacIntyre 1981) After Virtue.
  2. (Skidelsky & Skidelsky 2012) How Much is Enough?.