Researchersin the field of positive psychology, such as Peterson and Seligman, posit thatthere are six virtues (wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity and love,justice, temperance, and transcendence), each with varying strengths (such ashonesty, compassion, kindness, fairness, or generosity) underlying them. Theyargue the three following statements: the virtues are independent of eachother, more of any strength makes a person better, and all virtues are equalwith no one virtue being more valuable than another. However, the authors of thisarticle apply some of Aristotle’s philosophy of virtues and strength tocriticize positive psychology’s current stance. Their neo-Aristotelian viewsare as follows: the virtues should be integrated with each other rather thanindependent, people should aim to achieve the means of strengths rather thanmore of them, and that the virtue of practical wisdom is the virtue that rulesall the others.
One cannot achieve happiness if they only cultivate particular,independent virtues instead of all of them. Also, because different situationscall for different amounts of any given virtue, aiming to have more of onestrength than another can be detrimental to particular situations. Lastly, inorder to discern what virtues and strengths different situations call for youneed practical wisdom to make sure you are choosing virtues or strengths thatare specific, relevant to the situation, and don’t conflict with one another.