For if the end be vicious, though a certain astuteness be manifested in the discernment of means, such astuteness is not real prudence, but the semblance of prudence. Moral Virtues Moral virtues are those which perfect the appetitive faculties of the soul, namely, the will and the sensuous appetite.

It differs from all the other intellectual virtues in this, that it is a virtue in the absolute sense, not only conferring a readiness for well-doing, but causing one to use that readiness rightly.

Considered more specifically, it is that virtue which directs on in the choice of means most apt, under existing circumstances, for the attainment of a due end.

Now the intellect may be the subject of those habits which are called virtues in a restricted sense, such as science and art.

But the will only, or any other faculty only in so far as it is moved by the will, can be the subject of habits, which are called virtues in the absolute sense.

According to its etymology the word virtue (Latin virtus ) signifies manliness or courage.

Now a habit is a quality in itself difficult of change, disposing well or ill the subject in which it resides, either directly in itself or in relation to its operation.

The practical intellectual virtues are two, namely, art and prudence.

Art Art, according to the Schoolmen, signifies the right method with regard to external productions ( recta ratio factibilium ).

Taken in its widest sense virtue means the excellence of perfection of a thing, just as vice, its contrary, denotes a defect or absence of perfection due to a thing.