Wednesday, December 18, 2013

show seven principal virtues.

The case in favour of four of them - the "pagan" or "aristocratic" or "political" virtues of courage, justice, temperance and prudence - was made by Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. In the early thirteenth century, St. Albert the Great summarized Cicero's claim that every virtuous act has all four: "For the knowledge required argues for prudence; the strength to act resolutely argues for courage; moderation argues for temperance; and correctness argues for justice." In sophisticated ruminations on the virtues until the eighteenth century, these four persisted - as, for example, in Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments....

The other three virtues for a flourishing life, adding up to the principal seven, are faith, hope and love. These three so-called "theological" virtues are not until the nineteenth century regarded as political. Before the Romantics and their nationalism and socialism, they were thought of as achieving the salvation of an individual soul, as achieving the City of God, not a city of humans.

Read it all.

No comments: