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Cardinal virtues

Virtues of mind and character / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The cardinal virtues are four virtues of mind and character in both classical philosophy and Christian theology. They are prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. They form a virtue theory of ethics. The term cardinal comes from the Latin cardo (hinge);[1] virtues are so called because they are regarded as the basic virtues required for a virtuous life.

An image personifying the four virtues (Ballet Comique de la Reine, 1582)

These principles derive initially from Plato in Republic Book IV, 426–435.[lower-alpha 1] Aristotle expounded them systematically in the Nicomachean Ethics. They were also recognized by the Stoics and Cicero expanded on them. In the Christian tradition, they are also listed in the Apocrypha in Wisdom of Solomon 8:7 and 4 Maccabees 1:18-19, and Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, and Thomas Aquinas[2] adapted them while expanding on the theological virtues.