Temperance


Temperance
Temperance
One of the four cardinal virtues

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Temperance
    Temperance
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Temperance
    (Latin temperare, to mingle in due proportions; to qualify).
    Temperance is here considered as one of the four cardinal virtues. It may be defined as the righteous habit which makes a man govern his natural appetite for pleasures of the senses in accordance with the norm prescribed by reason. In one sense temperance may be regarded as a characteristic of all the moral virtues; the moderation it enjoins is central to each of them. It is also according to St. Thomas (II-II:141:2) a special virtue. Thus, it is the virtue which bridles concupiscence or which controls the yearning for pleasures and delights which most powerfully attract the human heart. These fall mainly into three classes: some are associated with the preservation of the human individual; others with the perpetuation of the race, and others still with the well-being and comfort of human life. Under this aspect temperance has for subordinate virtues, abstinence, chastity, and modesty. Abstinence prescribes the restraint to be employed in the partaking of foodand drink. Obviously the measure of this self-restraing is not constant and invariable. It is different for different persons as well as for different ends in view. The diet of an anchorite would not do for a farm labourer. Abstinence is opposed to the vices of gluttony and drunkenness. The disorder of these is that food and drink are made use of in such wise as to damage instead of benefit the bodily health. Hence gluttony and drunkenness are said to be intrinsically wrong. That does not mean, however, that they are always grievous sins. Gluttony is seldom such; drunkenness is so when it is complete, that is when it destroys the use of reason for the time being. Chastity as a part of temperance regulates the sensual satisfactions connected with the propagation of the human species. The contrary vice is lust. As these pleasures appeal with the special vehemence to human nature, it is the function of chastity to impose the norm of reason. Thus it will decide that they are altogether to be refrained from in obedience to a higher vocation or at any rate only availed of with reference to the purposes of marriage. Chastity is not fanaticism; much less is it insensibility. It is the carrying out of the mandate of temperance in a particular department where such a steadying power is acutely needed.
    The virtue of modesty, as ranged under temperance, has as its task the holding in reasonable leash of the less violent human passions. It brings into service humility to set in order a man's interior. By transfusing his estimates with truth, and increasing his self-knowledge it guards him against the radical malice of pride. It is averse to pusillanimity, the product of low views and a mean-spirited will. In the government of the exterior of a man modesty aims to make it conform to the demands of decency and decorousness (honestas). In this way his whole outward tenor of conduct and method of life fall under its sway. Such things as his attire, manner of speech, habitual bearing, style of living, have to be made to square with its injunctions. To be sure the cannot always be settled by hard and fast rules. Convention will oftenhave a good deal to say in the case, but in turn will have its propriety determined by modesty. Other virtues are enumerated by St. Thomas as subordinate to temperance inasmuch as they imply moderation in the management of some passion. It ought to be noted, however, that in its primary and generally understood sense temperance is concerned with what is difficult for a man, not in so far as he is a rational being precisely, but rather in so far as he is an animal. The hardest duties for flesh and blood are self-restraint in the use of food and drink and of the venereal pleasures that go with the propagation of the race. That is why abstinence and chastity may be reckoned the chief and ordinary phases of this virtue. All that has been said receives additional force of we suppose that the self-control commanded by temperance is measured not only by the rule of reason but by the revealed law of God as well. It is called a cardinal virtue because the modration required for every righteous habit has in the practice of temperance a specially trying arena. The satisfactions upon which it imposes a check are at once supremely natural and necessary in the present order of human existence. It is not, however, the greatest of moral virtues. That rank is held by prudence; then come justice, fortitude, and finally temperance.
    JOSEPH F. DELANY
    Transcribed by Shannon Linzer

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • tempérance — [ tɑ̃perɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1549; temprance v. 1120; lat. temperantia ♦ Vieilli 1 ♦ Didact. Modération dans tous les plaisirs des sens. ⇒ continence, mesure. La tempérance est une vertu cardinale. 2 ♦ (1611) Modération dans le boire et le manger. ⇒… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Temperance — Tempérance La Tempérance, représentation du gisant de François II de Bretagne La tempérance est (avec la sagesse, le courage et la justice) l’une des quatre vertus cardinales, dans la philosophie réaliste comme chez le philosophe grec Platon.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Temperance — *Temperance (virtue), the practice of moderation *Temperance movement, movement to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed *Temperance bar, bars of the temperance movement opposed to alcohol *Temperance (group), Canadian pop dance musical group… …   Wikipedia

  • Temperance — Tem per*ance, n. [L. temperantia: cf. F. temp[ e]rance. See {Temper}, v. t.] 1. Habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; moderation; as, temperance in eating and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • temperance — temperance, sobriety, abstinence, abstemiousness, continence can all mean self restraint in the gratification of appetites or passions. In its more general sense Temperance implies simply habitual moderation and the exercise of judgment… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • temperance — Temperance. s. f. Vertu morale, qui regle, qui modere les passions & les appetits. La temperance est une des quatre vertus cardinales. un grand exemple de temperance. un bel exemple de temperance. les regles de la temperance …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Temperance — Temperance, MI U.S. Census Designated Place in Michigan Population (2000): 7757 Housing Units (2000): 2953 Land area (2000): 4.595331 sq. miles (11.901851 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.053023 sq. miles (0.137329 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.648354 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Temperance, MI — U.S. Census Designated Place in Michigan Population (2000): 7757 Housing Units (2000): 2953 Land area (2000): 4.595331 sq. miles (11.901851 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.053023 sq. miles (0.137329 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.648354 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • temperance — mid 14c., self restraint, moderation, from Anglo Fr. temperaunce (mid 13c.), from L. temperantia moderation, from temperans, prp. of temperare to moderate (see TEMPER (Cf. temper)). L. temperantia was used by Cicero to translate Gk. sophrosyne… …   Etymology dictionary

  • temperance — Temperance, Temperantia, Temperamentum. Il n y a point de temperance où paillardise est, Libidine dominante temperantiae locus non est …   Thresor de la langue françoyse


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