Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Aristotle's Four Classic Values

  1. Fortitude (perserverance)
  2. Temperance (controlling human passions)
  3. Prudence (practical wisdom)
  4. Justice (fairness, lawfulness)

The Catholic Church later added Faith, Hope, and Charity.


Rebecca said...

Are you familiar with Cicero's Mistakes of Humankind? :-

1. The delusion that personal gain is made by crushing others.
2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and studying.
6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

~ Cicero, circa 140 B.C.

Cosmic Siren said...

Those are very true. I'm more familiar with Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi (866-925) four reasons why great men make more mistakes than others:

1. Because of negligence, as a result of too much self confidence.

2. Because of unmindfulness (indifference) which often leads to errors.

3. Because of enticements to follow one's Own fancy or impetuosity in imagining that what he does or says is right.

4. Crystallization of ancient knowledge in view of the dynamic nature of science so that present day knowledge must of necessity surpass that of previous generations. This is because of the continuous discoveries of new data and new truths.

Anonymous said...

Why would aristotle be known for those four classical values?

any reasons?

description for each classical value would be nice to know :)

Cosmic Siren said...

Because he expounded on them as a student of Plato. Actually they could be more accurately called the "Platonic Virtues", but people probably might immediately think chasity when they read that (i.e. a 'platonic relationship').

Plato described them this way:
Temperance was associated with the producing classes, the farmers and craftsmen, and with the animal appetites; fortitude with the warrior class and with the spirited element in man; prudence with the rulers and with reason. Justice stands outside the class system and divisions of man, and rules the proper relationship among the three of them.

In other words, your virtue sort of depended on your social class.

And I have a class to go to, so I'll leave at that for now.