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Virtue (Latin: virtus) is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. In other words, it is a behavior that shows high moral standards. Doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. The opposite of virtue is vice, another example of this notion is merit in Asian traditions and De (Chinese 德).

The four classic cardinal virtues in Christianity are temperance, prudence, courage (or fortitude), and justice. Christianity derives the three theological virtues of faith, hope and love (charity) from 1 Corinthians 13. Together these make up the seven virtues. Buddhism's four brahmavihara ("Divine States") can be regarded as virtues in the European sense.[1][2]

The development of virtue has a historical association as a alchemical process, wherein the internal virtues that we associate with the mind are integratively understood as the minerals that give us also the healthy biological structure of our bodies and externally the planet as a whole.

Etymology

The ancient Romans used the Latin word virtus (derived from vir, their word for man) to refer to all of the "excellent qualities of men, including physical strength, valorous conduct, and moral rectitude." The French words vertu and virtu came from this Latin root. In the 13th century, the word virtue was "borrowed into English".[3]

Ancient Egypt

Maat, to ancient Egyptians, personified the virtue of truth and justice. Her feather represents truth.[4]

Maat (or Ma'at) was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and The four classic cardinal virtues in Christianity are temperance, prudence, courage (or fortitude), and justice. Christianity derives the three theological virtues of faith, hope and love (charity) from 1 Corinthians 13. Together these make up the seven virtues. Buddhism's four brahmavihara ("Divine States") can be regarded as virtues in the European sense.[1][2]

The development of virtue has a historical association as a alchemical process, wherein the internal virtues that we associate with the mind are integratively understood as the minerals that give us also the healthy biological structure of our bodies and externally the planet as a whole.

The ancient Romans used the Latin word virtus (derived from vir, their word for man) to refer to all of the "excellent qualities of men, including physical strength, valorous conduct, and moral rectitude." The French words vertu and virtu came from this Latin root. In the 13th century, the word virtue was "borrowed into English".[3]

Ancient Egypt

Maat, to ancient Egyptians, personified the virtue of truth and justice. Her feather represents truth.[4]

Maat (or Ma'at) was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities. The deities set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. Her (ideological) counterpart was Isfet, who symbolized chaos, lies, and injustice.[5][6]

Greco-Roman antiquity

Personification of virtue (Greek Ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey

Platonic virtue

The four classic cardinal virtues are:[7]

  • Prudence (φρόνησις, phrónēsis; Latin: prudentia; also Wisdom, Sophia, sapientia), the ability to discern the appropriate course of action to be taken in a given situation at the appropriate time.
  • Fortitude (ἀνδρεία, andreía; Latin: fortitudo): also termed courage, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation.
  • Temperance (σωφροσύνη, sōphrosýnē; Latin: temperantia): also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, discretion, and moderation tempering the appetition. Plato considered Sōphrosynē, which may also be translated as sound-mindedness, to be the most important virtue.
  • Justice (δικαιοσύν

    Maat (or Ma'at) was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities. The deities set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. Her (ideological) counterpart was Isfet, who symbolized chaos, lies, and injustice.[5][6]

    Greco-Roman antiquity

    Personification of virtue (cardinal virtues are:[7]

    • Prudence (φρόνησις, phrónēsis; Latin: prudentia; also Wisdom, Sophia, sapientia), the ability to discern the appropriate course of action to be taken in a given situation at the appropriate time.
    • Fortitude (ἀνδρεία, andreía; Latin: fortitudo): also termed courage, forbearance, strength, endurance, and the ability to confront fear, uncertainty, and intimidation.
    • Temperance (σωφροσύνη, sōphrosýnē; Latin: temperantia): also known as restraint, the practice of self-control, abstention, discretion, and moderation tempering the appetition. Plato considered Sōphrosynē, which may also be translated as sound-mindedness, to be the most important virtue.
    • Justice (δικαιοσύνη, dikaiosýnē; Latin: iustitia): also considered as fairness;[8] the Greek word also having the meaning righteousness.

    This enumeration is traced to Greek philosophy and was listed by Plato in addition to Plato in addition to piety: ὁσιότης (hosiotēs), with the exception that wisdom replaced prudence as virtue.[9] Some scholars[10] consider either of the above four virtue combinations as mutually reducible and therefore not cardinal.

    It is unclear whether multiple virtues were of later construct, and whether Plato subscribed to a unified view of virtues.[11] In Protagoras and Meno, for example, he states that the separate virtues cannot exist independently and offers as evidence the contradictions of acting with wisdom, yet in an unjust way; or acting with bravery (fortitude), yet without wisdom.

    Aristotelian virtue

    In his work Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined a virtue as a point between a deficiency and an excess of a trait.[12] The point of greatest virtue lies not in the exact middle, but at a golden mean sometimes closer to one extreme than the other. However, the virtuous action is not simply the "mean" (mathematically speaking) between two opposite extremes. As Aristotle says in the Nicomachean Ethics: "at the right times, about the right things, towards the right people, for the right end, and in the right way, is the intermediate and best condition, and this is proper to virtue."[13] Th

    It is unclear whether multiple virtues were of later construct, and whether Plato subscribed to a unified view of virtues.[11] In Protagoras and Meno, for example, he states that the separate virtues cannot exist independently and offers as evidence the contradictions of acting with wisdom, yet in an unjust way; or acting with bravery (fortitude), yet without wisdom.

    In his work Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined a virtue as a point between a deficiency and an excess of a trait.[12] The point of greatest virtue lies not in the exact middle, but at a golden mean sometimes closer to one extreme than the other. However, the virtuous action is not simply the "mean" (mathematically speaking) between two opposite extremes. As Aristotle says in the Nicomachean Ethics: "at the right times, about the right things, towards the right people, for the right end, and in the right way, is the intermediate and best condition, and this is proper to virtue."[13] This is not simply splitting the difference between two extremes. For example, generosity is a virtue between the two extremes of miserliness and being profligate. Further examples include: courage between cowardice and foolhardiness, and confidence between self-deprecation and vanity. In Aristotle's sense, virtue is excellence at being human.

    Epicurean virtue

    Epicurean ethics call for a rational pursuit of pleasure with the aid of the virtues. The Epicureans teach that the emotions, dispos

    Epicurean ethics call for a rational pursuit of pleasure with the aid of the virtues. The Epicureans teach that the emotions, dispositions and habits related to virtue (and vice) have a cognitive component and are based on true (or false) beliefs. By making sure that his beliefs are aligned with nature and by getting rid of empty opinions, the Epicurean develops a virtuous character in accordance with nature, and this helps him to live pleasantly.[14]

    Pyrrhonist virtueThe Pyrrhonist philosopher Sextus Empiricus described Pyrrhonism as "a way of life that, in accordance with appearances, follows a certain rationale, where that rationale shows how it is possible to seem to live rightly ("rightly" being taken, not as referring only to virtue, but in a more ordinary sense) and tends to produce the disposition to suspend judgment...."[15] In other words, by eschewing beliefs (i.e., dogmas) one would live in accordance with virtue.

    Prudence and virtue

    Seneca, the Roman Stoic, said that perfect prudence is indistinguishable from perfect virtue. Thus, in considering all consequences, a prudent person would act in the same way as a virtuous person.[citation needed] The same rationale was expressed by Plato in Protagoras, when he wrote that people only act in ways that they perceive will bring them maximum good. It is the lack of wisdom that results in the making of a bad choice instead of a prudent one. In this way, wisdom is the central part of virtue. Plato realized that because virtue was synonymous with wisdom it could be taught, a possibility he had earlier discounted. He then added "correct belief" as an alternative to knowledge, proposing that knowledge is merely correct belief that has been thought through and "tethered".

    Roman virtues

    The term vir

    The term virtue itself is derived from the Latin "virtus" (the personification of which was the deity Virtus), and had connotations of "manliness", "honour", worthiness of deferential respect, and civic duty as both citizen and soldier. This virtue was but one of many virtues which Romans of good character were expected to exemplify and pass on through the generations, as part of the mos maiorum; ancestral traditions which defined "Roman-ness". Romans distinguished between the spheres of private and public life, and thus, virtues were also divided between those considered to be in the realm of private family life (as lived and taught by the paterfamilias), and those expected of an upstanding Roman citizen.

    Most Roman concepts of virtue were also personified as a numinous deity. The primary Roman virtues, both public and private, were:

    • Abundantia: "Abundance, Plenty" The ideal of there being enough food and prosperity for all segm

      Most Roman concepts of virtue were also personified as a numinous deity. The primary Roman virtues, both public and private, were:

      In 410 CE, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens listed seven "heavenly virtues" in his book Psychomachia (Battle of Souls) which is an allegorical story of conflict between vices and virtues. The virtues depicted were:

      • chastity
      • temperance
      • charity
      • diligence
      • patience
      • kindness
      • humility.[16]

      Chivalric virtues in medieval Europe

      In the 8th century, upon the occasion of his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne published a list of knightly virtues:

      • Love God
      • Love your neighbour
      • Give alms to the poor
      • Entertain strangers
      • Visit the sick
      • Be merciful to prisoners
      • Do ill to no man, nor consent unto such
      • Forgive as ye hope to be forgiven
      • Redeem the captive
      • Help the oppressed
      • Defend the cause of the widow and orphan
      • Render righteous judgement
      • Do not consent to any wrong
      • Persevere not in wrath
      • Shun excess in eating and drinking
      • Be humble and kind
      • Serve your liege lord faithfully
      • Do not steal
      • Do not perjure yourself, nor let others do so
      • Envy, hatred and violence separate men from the Kingdom of God
      • Defend the Church and promote her cause.[17]

      Religious traditions

      Abrahamic religions

      Bahá'í Faith

      The Baháʼí teachings speak of a "Greater Covenant",[18] being universal and endless, and a "Lesser Covenant", being unique to each religious dispensation. At this time Baháʼís view Baháʼu'lláh's revelation as a binding lesser covenant for his followers; in the Baháʼí writings being firm in the covenant is considered a virtue to work toward.[19]

      Christianity

      Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne published a list of knightly virtues:

      • Love God
      • Love your neighbour
      • Give alms to the poor
      • Entertain strangers
      • Visit the sick
      • Be merciful to prisoners
      • Do ill to no man, nor consent unto such
      • Forgive as ye hope to be forgiven
      • Redeem the captive
      • Help the oppressed
      • Defend the cause of the widow and orphan
      • Render righteous judgement
      • Do not consent to any wrong
      • Persevere not in wrath
      • Shun excess in eating and drinking
      • Be humble and kind
      • Serve your liege lord faithfully
      • Do not steal
      • Do not perjure yourself, nor let others do so
      • Envy, hatred and violence separate men from the Kingdom of God
      • Defend the Church and promote her cause.The Baháʼí teachings speak of a "Greater Covenant",[18] being universal and endless, and a "Lesser Covenant", being unique to each religious dispensation. At this time Baháʼís view Baháʼu'lláh's revelation as a binding lesser covenant for his followers; in the Baháʼí writings being firm in the covenant is considered a virtue to work toward.[19]

        Christianity

        Virtues fighting vices, stained glass window (14th century) in the Niederhaslach Church

        In Christianity, the three theological virtues are faith, hope and love, a list which comes from 1 Corinthians 13:13 (νυνὶ δὲ μένει πίστις pistis (faith), ἐλπίς elpis (hope),

        In Christianity, the three theological virtues are faith, hope and love, a list which comes from 1 Corinthians 13:13 (νυνὶ δὲ μένει πίστις pistis (faith), ἐλπίς elpis (hope), ἀγάπη agape (love), τὰ τρία ταῦτα· μείζων δὲ τούτων ἡ ἀγάπη). The same chapter describes love as the greatest of the three, and further defines love as "patient, kind, not envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude." (The Christian virtue of love is sometimes called charity and at other times a Greek word agape is used to contrast the love of God and the love of humankind from other types of love such as friendship or physical affection.)

        Christian scholars frequently add the four Greek cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, and courage) to the theological virtues to give the seven virtues; for example, these seven are the ones described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 1803–1829.

        The Bible mentions additional virtues, such as in the "Fruit of the Holy Spirit," found in Galatians 5:22–23: "By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit it is benevolent-love: joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, benevolence, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is absolutely no law against such a thing."[20]

        The medieval and renaissance periods saw a number of models of sin listing the seven deadly sins and the virtues opposed to each.

        (Sin) Latin Virtue Latin
        Pride Superbia Humility Humilitas
        Envy Invidia Kindness Benevolentia
        Gluttony Gula Temperance Temperantia
        Lust Luxuria Chastity Castitas
        Wrath Ira Patience Patientia
        Greed Avaritia Charity CaritasChristian scholars frequently add the four Greek cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, and courage) to the theological virtues to give the seven virtues; for example, these seven are the ones described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 1803–1829.

        The Bible mentions additional virtues, such as in the "Fruit of the Holy Spirit," found in Galatians 5:22–23: "By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit it is benevolent-love: joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, benevolence, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is absolutely no law against such a thing."[20]

        The medieval and renaissance periods saw a number of models of sin listing the seven deadly sins and the virtues opposed to each.

        In Islam, the Quran is believed to be the literal word of God, and the definitive description of virtue while Muhammad is considered an ideal example of virtue in human form. The foundation of Islamic understanding of virtue was the understanding and interpretation of the Quran and the practices of Muhammad. Its meaning has always been in context of active submission to God performed by the community in unison. The motive force is the notion that believers are to "enjoin that which is virtuous and forbid that which is vicious" (al-amr bi-l-maʿrūf wa-n-nahy ʿani-l-munkar) in all spheres of life (Quran 3:110). Another key factor is the belief that mankind has been granted the faculty to discern God's will and to abide by it. This faculty most crucially involves reflecting over the meaning of existence. Therefore, regardless of their environment, humans are believed to have a moral responsibility to submit to God's will. Muhammad's preaching produced a "radical change in moral values based on the sanctions of the new religion and the present religion, and fear of God and of the Last Judgment". Later Muslim scholars expanded the religious ethics of the scriptures in immense detail.[21]

        In the Hadith (Islamic traditions), it is reported by An-Nawwas bin Sam'an:

        "The Prophet Muhammad said, "Virtue is good manner, and sin is that which creates doubt and you do not like people to know it.""

        Wabisah bin Ma’bad reported:

        “I went to Messenger of God and he asked me: “Have you come to inquire about virtue?” I replied in the affirmative. Then he said: “Ask your heart regarding it. Virtue is that which contents the soul and comforts the heart, and sin is that which causes doubts and perturbs the heart, even if people pronounce it lawful and give you verdicts on such matters again and again.”

        — Ahmad and Ad-Darmi

        Virtue, as seen in opposition to sin, is termed thawāb (spiritual merit or reward) but there are other Islamic terms to describe virtue such as faḍl ("bounty"), taqwa ("piety") and ṣalāḥ ("righteou

        In the Hadith (Islamic traditions), it is reported by An-Nawwas bin Sam'an:

        "The Prophet Muhammad said, "Virtue is good manner, and sin is that which creates doubt and you do not like people to know it.""

        — Sahih Muslim, 32:6195Wabisah bin Ma’bad reported:

        “I went to Messenger of God and he asked me: “Have you come to inquire about virtue?” I replied in the affirmative. Then he said: “Ask your heart regarding it. Virtue is that which contents the soul and comforts the heart, and sin is that which causes doubts and perturbs the heart, even if people pronounce it lawful and give you verdicts on such matters again and again.”

        — Ahmad and Ad-D

        “I went to Messenger of God and he asked me: “Have you come to inquire about virtue?” I replied in the affirmative. Then he said: “Ask your heart regarding it. Virtue is that which contents the soul and comforts the heart, and sin is that which causes doubts and perturbs the heart, even if people pronounce it lawful and give you verdicts on such matters again and again.”

        — Ahmad and Ad-Darmi

        Virtue, as seen in oppo

        Virtue, as seen in opposition to sin, is termed thawāb (spiritual merit or reward) but there are other Islamic terms to describe virtue such as faḍl ("bounty"), taqwa ("piety") and ṣalāḥ ("righteousness"). For Muslims fulfilling the rights of others are valued as an important building block of Islam. According to Muslim beliefs, God will forgive individual sins but the bad treatment of people and injustice with others will only be pardoned by them and not by God.

        JudaismLoving God and obeying his laws, in particular the Ten Commandments, are central to Jewish conceptions of virtue. Wisdom is personified in the first eight chapters of the Book of Proverbs and is not only the source of virtue but is depicted as the first and best creation of God (Proverbs 8:12–31).

        A classic articulation of the Golden Rule came from the first century Rabbi Hillel the Elder. Renowned in the Jewish tradition as a sage and a scholar, he is associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud and, as such, one of the most important figures in Rabbi Hillel the Elder. Renowned in the Jewish tradition as a sage and a scholar, he is associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud and, as such, one of the most important figures in Jewish history. Asked for a summary of the Jewish religion in the most concise terms, Hillel replied (reputedly while standing on one leg): "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary; go and learn."[22]

        Buddhist practice as outlined in the Noble Eightfold Path can be regarded as a progressive list of virtues.[citation needed]

        1. Right View – Realizing the Four Noble Truths (samyag-vyāyāma, sammā-vāyāma).
        2. Right Mindfulness – Mental ability to see things for what they are with clear consciousness (samyak-smṛti, sammā-sati).
        3. Right Concentration – Wholesome one-pointedness of mind (samyak-samādhi, sammā-samādhi).

        Buddhism's four brahmavihara ("Divine States") can be more properly regarded as virtues in the European sense. They are:

        1. Metta/Maitri: loving-kindness towards all; the hope that a person will be well; loving kindness is the wish that all sentient beings, without any exception, be happy.brahmavihara ("Divine States") can be more properly regarded as virtues in the European sense. They are:

          1. Metta/Maitri: loving-kindness towards all; the hope that a person will be well; loving kindness is the wish that all sentient beings, without any exception, be happy.[23]
          2. There are also the Paramitas ("perfections"), which are the culmination of having acquired certain virtues. In Theravada Buddhism's canonical Buddhavamsa[25] there are Ten Perfections (dasa pāramiyo). In Mahayana Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra (Saddharmapundarika), there are Six Perfections; while in the Ten Stages (Dasabhumika) Sutra, four more Paramitas are listed.

            Daoism

            "Virtue", translated from Chinese de (), is also an important concept in Chinese philosophy, particularly Daoism. De (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade–Giles: te) originally meant normative "virtue" in the sense of "personal character; inner strength; integrity", but semantically changed to moral "virtue; kindness; morality". Note the semantic parallel for English virtue, with an archaic meaning of "inner potency; divine power" (as in "by virtue of") and a modern one of "moral excellence; goodness".de (), is also an important concept in Chinese philosophy, particularly Daoism. De (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade–Giles: te) originally meant normative "virtue" in the sense of "personal character; inner strength; integrity", but semantically changed to moral "virtue; kindness; morality". Note the semantic parallel for English virtue, with an archaic meaning of "inner potency; divine power" (as in "by virtue of") and a modern one of "moral excellence; goodness".[citation needed]

            In early periods of Confucianism, moral manifestations of "virtue" include ren ("humanity"), xiao ("filial piety"), and li ("proper behavior, performance of rituals"). The notion of Confucianism, moral manifestations of "virtue" include ren ("humanity"), xiao ("filial piety"), and li ("proper behavior, performance of rituals"). The notion of ren – according to Simon Leys – means "humanity" and "goodness". Ren originally had the archaic meaning in the Confucian Book of Poems of "virility", but progressively took on shades of ethical meaning.[26] Some scholars consider the virtues identified in early Confucianism as non-theistic philosophy.[27]

            The Daoist concept of De, compared to Confucianism, is more subtle, pertaining to the "virtue" or ability that an individual realizes by following the Dao ("the Way"). One important normative value in much of Chinese thinking is that one's social status should result from the amount of virtue that one demonstrates, rather than from one's birth. In the Analects, Confucius explains de as follows: "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it."[28] In later periods, particularly from the Tang dynasty period, Confucianism as practiced, absorbed and melded its own concepts of virtues with those from Daoism and Buddhism.[27]

            Virtue is a much debated[29] and an evolving concept in ancient scriptures of Hinduism.[30][31] The essence, need and value of virtue is explained in Hindu philosophy as something that cannot be imposed, but something that is realized and voluntarily lived up to by each individual. For example, Apastamba explained it thus: "virtue and vice do not go about saying – here we are!; neither the Gods, Gandharvas, nor ancestors can convince us – this is right, this is wrong; virtue is an elusive concept, it demands careful and sustained reflection by every man and woman before it can become part of one's life.[32]

            Virtues lead to punya (Sanskrit: पुण्य,[33] holy living) in Hindu literature; while vices lead to pap (Sanskrit: पाप,[34] sin<

            Virtues lead to punya (Sanskrit: पुण्य,[33] holy living) in Hindu literature; while vices lead to pap (Sanskrit: पाप,[34] sin). Sometimes, the word punya is used interchangeably with virtue.[35]

            The virtues that constitute a dharmic life – that is a moral, ethical, virtuous life – evolve in vedas and upanishads. Over time, new virtues were conceptualized and added by ancient Hindu scholars, some replaced, others merged. For example, Manusamhita initially listed ten virtues necessary for a human being to live a dharmic life: Dhriti (courage), Kshama (forgiveness), Dama (temperance), Asteya (Non-covetousness/Non-stealing), Saucha (inner purity), Indriyani-graha (control of senses), dhi (reflective prudence), vidya (wisdom), satyam (truthfulness), akrodha (freedom from anger).[36] In later verses, this list was reduced to five virtues by the same scholar, by merging and creating a more broader concept. The shorter list of virtues became: Ahimsa (Non-violence), Dama (self restraint), Asteya (Non-covetousness/Non-stealing), Saucha (inner purity), Satyam (truthfulness).[37][38]

            The Bhagavad Gita – considered one of the epitomes of historic Hindu discussion of virtues and an allegorical debate on what is right and what is wrong – argues some virtues are not necessarily always absolute, but sometimes relational; for example, it explains a virtue such as Ahimsa must be re-examined when one is faced with war or violence from the aggressiveness, immaturity or ignorance of others.[39][40][41]

            In Jainism, attainment of enlightenment is possible only if the seeker possesses certain virtues. All Jains are supposed to take up the five vows of ahimsa (non violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (non stealing), aparigraha (non attachment) and brahmacharya (celibacy) before becoming a monk. These vows are laid down by the Tirthankaras. Other virtues which are supposed to be followed by both monks as well as laypersons include forgiveness, humility, self-restraint and straightforwardness. These vows assists the seeker to escape from the karmic bondages thereby escaping the cycle of birth and death to attain liberation.[42]

            Sikhism

            Sikh ethics emphasize the congruence between spiritual development and everyday moral conduct. Its founder Guru Nanak summarized this perspective:[43]

            Truth is the highest virtue, but higher still is truthful living.

            Philosophers' views

            Sikh ethics emphasize the congruence between spiritual development and everyday moral conduct. Its founder Guru Nanak summarized this perspective:[43]

            Truth is the highest virtue, but higher still is truthful living.

            Philosophers' views

            For the Rationalist philosopher René Descartes, virtue consists in the correct reasoning that should guide our actions. Men should seek the sovereign good that Descartes, following Zeno, identifies with virtue, as this produces a solid blessedness or pleasure. For Epicurus the sovereign good was pleasure, and Descartes says that in fact this is not in contradiction with Zeno's teaching, because virtue produces a spiritual pleasure, that is better than bodily pleasure. Regarding Aristotle's opinion that happiness depends on the goods of fortune, Descartes does not deny that these goods contribute to happiness, but remarks that they are in great proportion outside one's own control, whereas one's mind is under one's complete control.[46]

            Immanuel Kant