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Virtue (in theology, sociology) – ontological foundation of values.

The Orthodox Encyclopedia virtue is defined as “a social philosophical-theological category, indicating the value and important aspect of spiritual and moral perfection of man.”

“The term” virtue “is the blueprint of the Greek« καλοποιΐα »or ἀΥαθοερΥία, ἀΥαθοποιΐα, ἀΥαθοποίησις. Virtue in its moral and soteriological significance of consecrated authority of the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament and the Church’s teaching. It is one of the most prominent faces that reflect the perfection of its original likeness to the human person.

Welcome as a good reference point, the light of human life inherent in many moral teachings, philosophical and religious systems. You can determine the emergence of systematic knowledge of good in ancient philosophy, the nature and range of meanings of the word ἀρετή, first mentioned in “The Odyssey” by Homer.

“The moral-didactic poem” Works and Days “Hesiod ἀρετή concept within the meaning of moral norms include such virtues as justice, diligence, loyalty and honesty. Pythagoras ἀρετή treated as a perfect harmony of physical health and contemplative lifestyle. Aeschylus identified four basic virtues – wisdom, courage, temperance and justice. Democritus virtue associated with the principles of moral dignity, duty and conscience. With the era of the Sophists throughout the Hellenistic period, a virtue is considered as the main objectives of education and education, and became a symbol of the perfect formation of the mind and body. ”

Socrates in fact, determined the moral foundation of virtue; he predetermined the personal formation in search of moral perfection. Socrates suggested unity of the virtues, but at the same time defined virtue in a variety of its manifestations.

Plato outside the scope of the sensual world of ideal entities defined the practice of the metaphysical justification of virtue. True virtue, according to Plato, is the “love of perfect knowledge, which leads to the knowledge of the essence of things.”

The basis for the formation of virtue in human life on belief of Aristotle is a training and education. According to Aristotle ‘virtue – is the ability to do well in all that regards pleasure and pain …’. ”

In the philosophy of Plotinus is determined to achieve the virtues as a prerequisite Godlike life.

In the teaching of Porphyry, virtues were divided into four types: public, cleaning, contemplative (contemplative) and paradigmatic (containing religious and moral life of the samples). Porphyry defined the great “virtuous soul.” Soul in the way of knowledge of God, likening his own life examples of religious and moral.

In the philosophical teachings of Socrates to Porphyry virtue gradually moving from essentially synonymous substitution on the quality of human behavior in accordance with the moral foundation of human life in the systemic group generated on the basis of knowledge and acceptance of man in his daily work on the way the knowledge of God and the communion of his life in society and moral patterns of the true God.

In the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, the moral life of a person is defined as impossible without achieving the theological virtues: faith, hope, love; followed by four main (cardinal) virtues: prudence, justice, courage, temperance. In fact, the four qualities of human behavior that can keep a person on the path to a true knowledge of good.

XIX century opens a new era of human life. The achieved level of economic development and transition of society on the path of consumption, the development of social relations, the construction of the welfare state, market economy, civil society, building a new position of human knowledge of the external world and internal evaluations. This evaluation version of its terminology in the spectrum: the value, usefulness, benefit, has come to play a key role in understanding the human outer and inner world, identify themselves in it, building up social relationships, “I-society”.

“In Kant’s system, I. G.Fihte, GV F.Gegelya debt concepts, freedom, value and benefits pushed the concept of virtue.

However, already in the XX century. In M.Shelera writings, H. G.Gadamera, Y.Rittera, A.Ch.Makintayra tendency to return to the notion of virtue. ”

The philosophical understanding of virtue is the result of the functioning of society as a whole, its features and level of development. Virtue in the philosophical interpretation is, morally sustainable human quality in the search for them the truth of their being, which is defined in the highest good, and the human desire to reach him, close to him, a priori postulating its existence, pre-existence, does not leave a person all the way to his life and knowledge, guided by and based on humility, conscience and justice.

Summarizing the interpretation to the concept of essential virtues can define the following attributes:

  • Correlation with the higher, true, that can never be reduced to the level and means the same as human perfection;
  • Appearance at the intersection of the natural and affective states (instincts, passions, aptitudes), and the knowing mind, is a qualitative characteristic (warehouse principles, disposition, moral certainty) character (character, ethos, temperament) person;
  • Active detection of man’s moral nature, realized in the actions correlated with samples practiced in the society behavior;
  • Fluent (willfully, intentionally, deliberately weighted) mode of action, in which the individual assumes the risk of their own making;
  • Actively opposed to vice.

The system arrayed social origin complicated the problem of the search for the man of the true ways of development in the current environment is infinitely multiple times diametrically different global social networks primary to man was the problem of self-identification in the social environment and the differentiation of its internal peace in the world Globally, the choice of value – acceptable internal nature and moral perception person.