Cardinal virtues of Plato
The cardinal virtues comprise a quartet set of virtues recognized in the writings of Classical Antiquity and, along with the theological virtues, also in Christian tradition. They consist of the following qualities:
Prudence : also described as wisdom, the ability to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time.A man who is temperate does not gossip, attempt to manipulate or speak ill of others. This person knows when to speak, and more importantly, when not too
Justice : also considered as fairness, the most extensive and most important virtue; the Greek word also having the meaning righteousness.Justice is most often associated with righteousness based on moral, ethical and legal principles that have become accepted standards. It is basically a concept.A man who embraces this concept with fervor is viewed as someone who consistently does the right thing, is fair and doesn‟t give advantages to those who have not earned them or condemn them without proper cause. Freemasonry has for a very long time taught these virtues in order to populate the world with men who possess them and can use them at will.
Temperance : also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, discretion, and moderation tempering the appetition; especially sexually, hence the meaning chastity.A man who is temperate does not gossip, attempt to manipulate or speak ill of others. This person knows when to speak, and more importantly, when not too .
Courage : also termed fortitude, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation
These virtues derive initially from Plato’s scheme, discussed in Republic Book IV, 426-435 (and see Protagoras 330b, which also includes piety (hosiotes)). Cicero expanded on them, and Saint Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, and Thomas Aquinas adapted them.
The term “cardinal” comes from the Latin cardo (hinge); the cardinal virtues are so called because they are regarded as the basic virtues required for a virtuous life.
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