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Virtue as Excellence of Character

Virtue is excellence of character, the possession of habits appropriate for a human being within a particular sociocultural context. Used as a synonym of “integrity,” virtue suggests wholeness and stability in a person. Virtue is a form of capital, moral capital, because it is a productive capacity that accumulates and develops through investments of time and effort. Virtue is unique because it perfects the human being as a whole and not just in a limited aspect. It may not make a person strong, smart, or successful, but it makes him good as a human being.

Excellence of character depends on cultivating the right habits. Aristotle explains that virtuous habits result from the repetition of virtuous actions, and virtuous actions spring from the ...

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