chapter  3
3 Pages

Classes of Virtues and Excellences of Dis-positions

In Psychology33 it has been established that the human soul has three divergent faculties, with respect to which faculties it becomes the source of different actions and operations,574 in association with the will; and when one of these faculties prevails over the others, the latter are overcome or lost. First is the Rational Faculty, also called the Angelic Soul, which is the principle of reflection and distinction, and of the yearning to see into the realities of things. 516 Second is the Irascible Faculty, also called the Savage Soul, which is the principle of irascibility and courage, of advancing to meet perils,146 and of yearning to rule, to rise, and to gain increased status. 576 Third comes the Appetitive Faculty, also styled the Bestial Soul, which is the principle of the appetites, of. the search for nourishment, and of yearning for pleasure by way of foods and drinks and women.145 A reference to this classification has already been made in the First Division. 577

Now, the number of the soul's virtues will tend to be in563 accordance with the numbers of these faculties. Thus, whenever the motion of the Rational Soul is in equilibrium in itself,578 and its yearning is for the acquisition of certain knowledges 579 (not that which is thought to be certain, while being in reality pure ignorance), from that motion the virtue of knowledge comes into being,680 the virtue of wisdom being a necessary consequence. 581 Again, whenever the motion of the Savage Soul is in equilibrium (it being submissive to the Intelligent Soul, content with what the latter apportions to it, with no untimely excitation or infringement of limits in its states)582 then from that motion the virtue of mildness583 comes into being580 for this soul, with the virtue of courage as a necessary consequence. 581 Yet again,

whenever the motion of the Bestial Soul is in equilibrium (so that it is obedient to the Intelligent Soul, limiting itself to what the latter assigns to it, and offering it no opposition in the pursuit of its own passion)584 from,that motion the virtue of continence586 comes into being, 580 with the virtue of liberality 686 as a necessary consequence. 581

When these three classes of virtue accrue, all three being blended harmoniously,587 there comes into being from their compounding a homogeneous state,588 which represents the perfection and completion of those virtues; and that is called the virtue of justice.' Hence the consensus and agreement of all philosophers, both modern and ancient,589 on the fact that the classes of virtues are four: Wisdom, Courage, Continence and Justice; and no person is deserving of praise or apt to glory or take pride, save in respect of one of these four, or in all four together. Those who boast of nobility of lineage or family greatness, moreover, are ultimately referring to the fact that some of their forefathers and ancestors were noted for these virtues; and if a man glory in superiority and mastery, or in great wealth, men of intelligence show disapproval of him.