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Cardinal Virtues are the fundamental virtues on which the other virtues are based. The term ‘cardinal’ is derived from the word Cardo. ‘Cardo’ means a hinge or a hook that supports the door, and on which the door turns. Cardinal virtues are defined as a group of virtues such that they cannot be derived from one another and all other virtues can be derived from them or shown to be forms of them. And you can join now also UPSC prelims crash course 2022

Schopenhauer regarded benevolence and justice as cardinal virtues. The commonly recognized virtues like love, courage, kindness, temperance, honesty, and gratitude can all be derived from cardinal virtues. Christianity has seven cardinal virtues, three of these – faith, hope, and charity (love) are theological virtues. Four virtues – prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice – are human.

Plato’s theory of cardinal virtues:
Ancient Greek philosopher, Plato identifies four “cardinal virtues” that are necessary for a happy individual and that are necessary for a good society.
Plato’s Cardinal Virtues: Cardinal virtues propounded by Plato are Wisdom, Courage, Temperance, and Justice.
Wisdom: Wisdom is the Virtue of the rational part of the soul. It is an all-embracing virtue. It is a moral insight into the duties in a concrete situation and performing them. It is practical wisdom which is implied in all moral actions. However, in a wide sense, wisdom should include care, foresight, prudence, and decisiveness of choice.
Courage: Courage is the virtue of the emotional part of the soul. Courage is the power of resisting the fear of pain and the temptation of pleasure. It is not the mere facing of pain that is a virtue, but the doing of what is right in the face of pain. Courage is the special virtue of the fighting class. In a wider sense courage should include both valor and fortitude. Valor is active courage, which forges ahead and braves danger and pain. Fortitude is passive courage that endures inevitable sufferings without wavering. Courage should include perseverance.
Temperance: Temperance is the Virtue that offers resistance to the allurements of pleasure. It is self-restraint or self-control. It denotes the will to choose the higher values and to reject the lower bodily values. Temperance is not merely a negative virtue engaged in repressing appetites. Temperance does not merely restrain passions and desires, but it takes from reason guidance as to how far these desires should be satisfied. Temperance demands a reasonable moderation or a happy blending of the domination of reason with the other tendencies of human nature. Temperance is supremely a virtue that gives beauty to the moral life.
Justice: Justice is the harmonious functioning of intellect, emotion, and desire under the guidance of reason. Wisdom, courage, and temperance are the primary virtues of an individual man. Justice is primarily a virtue of society. A good social justice demands that the lame man, however unworthy he is morally or however little he can do physically for the common good, should be provided with an artificial leg. Justice is impartiality to all in the face of personal prejudice, preference, or self-interest.

The four virtues are called cardinal because they support the moral life of man in society. They are fundamental virtues. Other virtues depend upon them and are therefore subordinate to them.

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2. 70 Thinkers and Thoughts of Ethics:
This book consists, the national and international thinkers with their thoughts. These thoughts can be used in answer writing.
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This book is a compilation of 100 case studies. This is a practice book of case studies.
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The book covers all the terminologies of the ethics syllabus for a quick revision.