The Greatness of Humility
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About "The Greatness of Humility"
The jury is out on the virtue of humility. Most people find humility a more attractive character trait in others than its opposites of pride and arrogance. Yet many philosophers, be they ancient or modern, find little value in humility as a virtue. For the Aristotelian moral tradition, humility is an impediment to greatness. Modern philosophers take this sentiment further, asserting that humility is a sham virtue that leads to unhappiness and human debasement. The Christian intellectual tradition, however, provides a contrast to these negative appraisals of humility. St. Augustine of Hippo is an eloquent and robust proponent of humility's value. Unlike the thinkers of the classical and modern philosophic traditions, Augustine asserts that humility is not only a significant virtue; it is the indispensable foundation of human greatness. The Greatness of Humility traces how Augustine makes his argument regarding the importance of humility and shows how his position measures up to those of his philosophical rivals.