The cardinal virtues. Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, Justice
How did Greek and Christian philosophers describe man’s cardinal sins? How have they been reinterpreted in modern times and how can we do so ourselves, in light of current events? Four prominent Italian philosophical voices lead us on a voyage of discovery through present and past.
Remo Bodei, Prudence “its etymological root (which also produced the word ‘providence’), suggests human foresight and caution. Someone is ‘providens’ – contracted to produce ‘prudens’ – if they are able to avoid danger or damage. Prudence, then, is the foremost deliberative virtue, which allows those who practice it to distinguish good from evil and to make plans for the future in a present that has taken to heart the lessons of the past.”
Giulio Giorello,, Temperance “What does it mean to be ‘temperate’, according to Milton? Defending one’s autonomy and the autonomy of one’s fellow citizens and ensuring that women and men can live together in a society where words are never in thrall to an imperious, uncontrollable will. Each of us should behave as we see fit – says Milton – without trying to impose our rules on others.”
Michela Marzano, Fortitude “the brave person feels fear but does not hesitate to face and overcome it. The cowardly, the daring, the brave all have to confront their fears, but they all react differently. This is why we can’t speak of bravery without first understanding the fear we all experience, which the brave are able to overcome. Without fear, we would never have the chance to prove our courage. Courage cannot exist without fear because courage consists in the ability to overcome fear.”
Salvatore Veca, Justice “Globalisation leads us to reflect on a relatively original, or at least recent, question, which has no easy answers: what would a just world look like? Since the ‘90s, research in the field of political philosophy, justice theory and moral philosophy has tended to focus on the characteristics of a global justice theory. “Can we accept the fact that justice, law and rights are still fixed within closed political communities, while a vast array of other powers cross borders, shaping the lives and prospects of people around the world without their consent? How much importance should we attribute to borders when we talk about justice?”
Le virtù cardinali
Lussuria e carità a colori sgarcgianti