A Stoic values joy and health above pain and poverty, and the pursuit of joy and health over friendship and social status. Stoics would rather pursue virtue over friendship, and would not compromise morality or justice in exchange for happiness. This makes friendship an extremely important virtue to a Stoic, but it is not the only one. Here are five of the highest virtues listed by Stoics. Read them to discover which one fits you best.
According to Stoicism, courage is a superior quality, and it can be self-destructive if abused. It works best when paired with another virtue, such as justice, temperance, or wisdom. The Stoics believe that courage is the master of our passions, desires, and fears. Hence, courage is a superior quality to the other virtues, and is thus a desirable trait for all of us.
According to Stoics, virtue is a habit of the mind that is consistent with nature, reason, and moderation. There are four basic virtues: prudence, justice, and temperance. Prudence is the habit of knowing good and bad things, while justice is the attribute of mind that accords proper dignity to everything. Temperance refers to self-control, moderation, and balance. Aristotle called it the “golden mean” because virtue is found in the middle of deficiency and excess.
In contrast, Stoics prefer pleasure to pain, health over poverty, and friendship over isolation. However, they also prefer happiness to pain. Courage is the opposite of cowardice, which means acting in the right way in spite of fear. The Stoics would never compromise their morality for friendship. In addition, they would rather pursue happiness than pursue it. These virtues are the highest qualities of a person, and are necessary for a happy life.
Developing the virtues is an ongoing process. Even knowing about the virtues is useless without practice. As Aristotle said, “One day doesn’t make a spring.” In other words, achieving virtue is a daily process. So, the virtues of virtue need constant cultivation. This means training and a commitment to the virtues. However, it is never too late to cultivate virtue.
Although we cannot rely solely on the wisdom of others, our mind can judge impressions. It can distinguish false from true ones. Certain impressions can be assented to immediately, while others must be rejected and labeled as opinions and beliefs. The only way to gain clear comprehension and conviction is through reason. The Stoic sage must be constantly refining himself and the virtues he believes in.
Stoic philosophers emphasized the importance of wisdom. In their philosophy, wisdom is the ability to distinguish between good and bad. In the Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, Stoics noted that most events in life are indifferent, and that people only label them as good or bad after the fact. Using Stoic virtues, we can gain wisdom in our everyday lives. The Stoics’ definition of wisdom is to have a clear understanding of the nature of good and evil, and to live accordingly.
A Stoic in authority, Marcus Rufus, shows us that justice must be practiced by everyone, even those in high positions. He also says that everyone must choose fairness, or justice. It is this practical wisdom that allows us to reason out what is just. Wisdom is the most important virtue, according to Stoics, and we must develop it to live a fulfilling life. Wisdom is the greatest virtue according to Stoics, but what does wisdom look like?
Throughout the Stoic era, these virtues were regarded as the cornerstone of life. They are interdependent, closely related, and complementary. It is possible to think of the Four Cardinal Virtues as four pillars of our existence, with no single virtue more important than the others. Wisdom is a powerful virtue that allows us to respond with wisdom in any situation. Wisdom enables us to do the right thing at the right time, and is necessary for living a fulfilling life.
Similarly, Stoic ethics emphasizes that virtue is good and vice is bad. Ordinary people fail to understand this distinction because they make judgments of objects, events, and indifferent actions. The truth is that most people make judgments that are irrational and contrary to reason. Stoics say that passion is an excessive movement of the soul and is contrary to reason. Stoics also say that there are four general types of passion: distress, pleasure, appetite, and fear.
In addition to virtue, Stoics also believed that knowledge is a virtue. Virtue can’t exist without wisdom, and without virtue, humanity would be meaningless. They categorized virtue according to four generic virtues, called cardinal virtues, and based their ideas on the work of Socrates and Plato. Wisdom is a virtue that shapes the whole of a person’s life.
The Stoics held that the highest virtue is a state of indifference, which is the ability to ignore the world around us, and that we should not be influenced by the things around us. However, indifference was also considered the lowest virtue, since it threatened the virtues. The Stoics considered all passions to be false values, which arise from physiological changes in the pneuma.
The four most important virtues according to Stoicism are piety, wisdom, justice, temperance, courage, and indifference. Virtues are those that have a positive value and should be acted upon. The vices, on the other hand, are the opposite of virtues. While virtues are important, vices are not. Stoics believe that vices are the opposite of virtue and are the main causes of illness and ill health.
The Stoics categorically divided things into good and bad, and indifferent things. Good things are the cardinal virtues, while bad things include their opposites, the four vices. Indifferent things are everything in between, such as fame and reputation, pleasure, and health. The virtues are more important than happiness, because happiness is the ultimate goal of life. The Stoics would never sacrifice morality for friendship.
Despite the fact that they disagreed on the definition of happiness, most Stoics believed that the most important virtue is indifference. While they did not believe in moral progress, they do recognize that there is a difference between wisdom and ignorance. In contrast to the notion of virtue and its opposite, a person can learn from their mistakes, improve, and grow in a healthy way if they are willing to work hard and use their reason instead of their emotions.
Indifference, as the name implies, is the opposite of action. The Stoics believe that the opposite of courage is cowardice. Cowardice, on the other hand, means not acting despite fear, thereby achieving the virtue of indifference. While the Stoics may have a difference in their definition of courage, both virtues are opposites of fear.
According to Stoic philosophy, moderation is a trait of an ethical person. It refers to the practice of self-discipline and restraint. To be a Stoic, you must exercise decorum and propriety, not just one. If you are moderate in one area of your life, you are more likely to practice the same virtue in another area. However, if you are excessively moderate in another area, you might be violating a Stoic principle.
For Stoics, virtue is the ability to act honorably and with moderation, even when faced with temptation. For example, if you lie to someone about your feelings, you are choosing laziness, greed, or a bad habit. In fact, indifferent things can amplify our good and bad qualities, so moderation is an extremely important virtue. Stoics believed that virtue was the path to happiness.
However, this virtue is not without its detractors. According to Stoics, virtue cannot exist without fear, which is why they call moderation the greatest virtue. The Stoics also distinguish between two proto-passions: anger and fear. In addition to anger, temperance and courage. The latter two virtues are often associated with each other. Moderation can be difficult to attain, but if you master them, you’ll be on your way to achieving happiness.
While the idea of moderation may seem counterintuitive, it’s crucial to understand the concept of’moderation’ as it pertains to the commanding faculty. Assent is defined as accepting a given piece of content as true, while withholding is characterized as suspending judgment. This is not to suggest that the two cannot be mutually exclusive. The same holds true for the power to choose.
In Stoic philosophy, assenting to a cognitive impression counts as knowledge. The sage exercises appropriate discipline to refrain from assenting to things one shouldn’t, which they call non-precipitancy. Non-precipitancy is the highest virtue according to Stoicism. This virtue does not lead to mistakes. Stoics say that the sage never makes a mistake.