The Four Cardinal Platonic Virtues

The four cardinal Platonic virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance and justice, are the fundamental building blocks on which all other moral virtues rest. It is impossible to create a moral culture without the practice of these virtues.

BlogSelf DevelopmentThe Four Cardinal Platonic Virtues

The four cardinal Platonic virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance and justice, are the fundamental building blocks on which all other moral virtues rest. It is impossible to create a moral culture without the practice of these virtues.

Socrates focuses on the nature of these virtues in his later dialogues, with a number of prominent teachers. These include Charmides, Critias, Gorgias and Protagoras.


Prudence, as a virtue, is the ability to make wise decisions about one’s life. It involves knowing what is right and wrong, distinguishing between the two, and making decisions that will lead to virtue and holiness. It requires self-mastery and the help of God’s Spirit through prayer.

Prudent people choose the safest and most reasonable way to live their lives. They are aware of the risks and advantages of various choices, they evaluate all options thoroughly, and they take into account the consequences of their actions.

For the Ancient Greeks, prudence was a necessity for living well. It was a way of protecting oneself from the temptations of passion. It allowed people to make the best decisions in their daily lives, and it helped them avoid making mistakes.

The word prudence comes from the Latin “prudium”, which means “preparation”. It refers to preparation, or forethought, for an event or a situation.

It also refers to the quality of discerning the best course of action in certain situations, and the ability to know how to act according to the rules of nature. This skill is vital for a person who wants to be virtuous and obedient to God and His Holy Spirit.

A prudent person makes wise choices and is careful with their money, often saving for the future. They are cautious when investing in a business, and they keep track of their finances to ensure that they aren’t spending more than they have.

Practicing the virtue of prudence helps you to make better decisions in everyday life, from choosing a hat for a job interview to deciding not to spend your last paycheck on luxuries. It’s a strength that can help you stay on top of your finances and avoid the mishaps of life, both physically and psychologically.

The Platonic philosophers of the Classical period identified four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. These were often called the “hinge” virtues because they are on which all other virtues turn.

In the Roman Catholic tradition, prudence is the most important of the four cardinal virtues. It is the foundation upon which all other virtues are built, and it is a necessary ingredient in spiritual personhood. Without prudence, you cannot practice any of the other virtues.


Temperance is a virtue of moderation and self-restraint. It involves controlling one's irrational desires, such as lust, vanity, anger, or greed. It is an important virtue for people in positions of responsibility, like a soldier or a police officer. It also refers to the abstention from alcohol (teetotalism).

It is considered a positive psychological virtue, and it is often associated with chastity and sobriety. In ancient Greece, temperance was seen as a crucial virtue for people to practice.

According to the philosophers, temperance is the ability to control one's irrational desires and impulsive behavior. It is a necessary and essential quality for every human being to have, because it helps us to live in a way that will benefit society as a whole.

In the philosophy of Plato, temperance was viewed as a fundamental virtue that had to be practiced in order to be a good person. It was a vital part of moral life, as it helped us to control our own impulses and make decisions in the best interest of others.

The word "temperance" comes from the Latin phrase temperantia, which means moderation. It can also be interpreted as a restraining of the body's natural impulses, such as hunger or thirst.

Aristotle argued that temperance is an important virtue, as it helps to control the irrational impulses of the human mind. Aristotle referred to temperance as the ability to control our appetites and emotions, and he described it as "ordering our desire for food, drink, and pleasures of the senses."

This is the most difficult of all the human virtues, because it requires the restraining of our own irrational desires. This is especially the case when we are attempting to fulfill our obligations to our families, friends, and communities.

Aristotle and other philosophers of the time, including Marcus Aurelius, agreed on these four cardinal Platonic virtues: prudence, justice, courage, and temperance. The ancients believed that these four virtues were the key to a successful life and that everyone should strive to achieve them in their own lives. They were the foundation of the virtue ethic, a philosophy that is still practiced in many cultures around the world today.


Courage is the ability to face a difficult or dangerous situation despite your fear. This is sometimes referred to as bravery, though courage can also be shown without fear.

For example, in business, courage often takes the form of taking a risk to try something new. This can be a difficult task, especially in uncertain times when time is tight and things are not always going well.

When you have the right amount of courage, you are able to take action that is good for you and those around you. This can be in business, or in your personal life.

In the past, people have taken courageous steps to make a difference in their lives or the world. Whether it was a politician like Hillary Clinton or Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who resisted the idea that women had to be soft and submissive, or a soldier that fought for their country.

Some courage is born of a strong desire to do what is right, while other courage is born of an inner strength and determination. In order to be a true hero, you have to have the courage to sacrifice yourself in order to do what is necessary for others.

It is also important to be realistic about the risks that you are willing to take. You may be tempted to leap into the unknown, but you should consider whether it is worth the risk.

You should also weigh the risk against your own values and what you would be sacrificing in order to do it. You should think about how you would be perceived by the people involved and what your career path is likely to look like if you do decide to take the risk.

Courage is a key part of an excellent human character, and it largely stems from the practice of the four cardinal Platonic virtues. Practicing these virtues, or arete, leads to moral virtue, which is the heart of justice and the basis for eudaimonia, the flourishing of humanity.


The cardinal Platonic virtues, as outlined by Aristotle, are the "hinges on which rests moral life and human happiness." Prudence, justice, temperance and courage, as they are defined by Aristotle, can be acquired by education, practice and perseverance in order to grow and develop into perfection. They can also be purified and elevated by divine grace, as they are infused with God's love.

The virtue of justice, derived from the Latin word jus (right), is one of the most fundamental and important concepts in Western philosophy and society today. Its precise definition remains a topic of debate among philosophers, theologians and legislators alike.

Plato and Aristotle viewed justice as a necessary and desirable quality of political society. This virtue, which is rooted in the concept of proportionate equality, requires that people should take account of each other’s needs and preferences when making decisions about how to distribute resources.

Aristotle's account of justice is based on three criteria: the sanctity of human rights, the justice of human conduct and the fairness of distributions. The sanctity of rights refers to the fact that each person has been created in a unique and original way, with their own dignity, freedom and will. The justice of human conduct refers to the way in which we treat others in order to uphold their dignity, freedom and will.

For example, if someone borrows a weapon from you when they are sane, but then wants them back to do great harm with them later, you should not return it at that time. This would be an injustice, because you have violated their right to use a weapon and thereby destroyed their dignity and will.

Another aspect of justice that distinguishes it from injustice is the extent to which a person's actions are governed by an intention to do good. A just person wills only those actions that are in the best interests of everyone involved, whereas an injustice may be committed by a person who does not have a clear and deliberate desire to do what is right or to act based on a good reason.


Thursday, February 23, 2023