virtue
A virtue is a trait of character that is to be admired: one rendering its possessor better, either morally, or intellectually, or in the conduct of specific affairs. Both Plato and Aristotle devote much time to the unity of the virtues, or the way in which possession of one in the right way requires possession of the others; another central concern is the way in which possession of virtue, which might seem to stand in the way of self-interest, in fact makes possible the achievement of eudaimonia . But different conceptions of moral virtue and its relation to other virtue characterize Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic, Christian, Enlightenment, Romantic, and 20th-century ethical writing. These divisions reflect central preoccupations of their time and needs of the cultures in which they gain predominance: the humility, charity, patience, and chastity of Christianity would have been unintelligible as ethical virtues to classical Greeks, whereas the ‘magnanimity’ of the great-souled man of Aristotle is hard for us to read as an unqualified good. Syntheses of Christian and Greek conceptions are attempted by Aquinas, but a resolute return to an Aristotelian conception has been impossible since the emergence of generalized benevolence as a leading virtue. For Hume a virtue is a trait of character with the power of producing love or pride, by being ‘useful or agreeable’ to its possessors and those affected by them. In Kant, virtue is purely a trait that can act as a handmaiden to the doing of duty, having no independent ethical value, and in utilitarianism, virtues are traits of character that further pursuit of the general happiness.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Virtue — (Latin virtus ; Greek Polytonic|ἀρετή) is moral excellence. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual and collective well being, and thus good by definition. The opposite of virtue is vice.Etymologically the word virtue… …   Wikipedia

  • Virtue — • According to its etymology the word virtue (Latin virtus) signifies manliness or courage Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Virtue     Virtue      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Virtue — Vir tue (?; 135), n. [OE. vertu, F. vertu, L. virtus strength, courage, excellence, virtue, fr. vir a man. See {Virile}, and cf. {Virtu}.] 1. Manly strength or courage; bravery; daring; spirit; valor. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] Built too strong… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • virtue — [vʉr′cho͞o] n. [ME vertue < OFr vertu, virtue, goodness, power < L virtus, manliness, worth < vir, man: see WEREWOLF] 1. general moral excellence; right action and thinking; goodness or morality 2. a specific moral quality regarded as… …   English World dictionary

  • virtue — (n.) early 13c., moral life and conduct, moral excellence, vertu, from Anglo French and O.Fr. vertu, from L. virtutem (nom. virtus) moral strength, manliness, valor, excellence, worth, from vir man (see VIRILE (Cf. virile)). For my part I honour… …   Etymology dictionary

  • virtue — ► NOUN 1) behaviour showing high moral standards. 2) a morally good or desirable quality. 3) a good or useful quality of a thing. 4) archaic virginity or chastity. ● by virtue of Cf. ↑by virtue of …   English terms dictionary

  • virtue — index caliber (quality), ethics, honesty, honor (good reputation), integrity, merit, probity …   Law dictionary

  • virtue — 1 *goodness, morality, rectitude Analogous words: honor, *honesty, integrity, probity: *fidelity, piety, fealty, loyalty: righteousness, nobility, virtuousness (see corresponding adjectives at MORAL) Antonyms: vice 2 * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • virtue — [n] honor, integrity advantage, asset, character, charity, chastity, consideration, credit, ethic, ethicality, ethicalness, excellence, faith, faithfulness, fineness, fortitude, generosity, goodness, good point*, high mindedness, hope, ideal,… …   New thesaurus

  • virtue — 01. Humility is considered an important [virtue] in many Far Eastern cultures. 02. Her religious beliefs have always been the principal force guiding her [virtuous] behavior. 03. It is important for the children to learn the [virtue] of hard work …   Grammatical examples in English

  • virtue — n. admirable feature moral excellence 1) to have a virtue (our budget has the virtue of providing for a small surplus) 2) a cardinal virtue 3) (misc. ) a paragon of virtue misc. 4) by virtue of ( because of ); of easy virtue (old fashioned) (… …   Combinatory dictionary

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