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  • is a moral virtue, along with prudence, justice, and fortitude
  • is the balance between excess and deprivation
  • is the habitual moderation of the appetites and passions
  • is the mean between the extremes of behavior 

  • IL: 106 

Temperance is the moderation of the extremes of our desires and behaviors.

Related Concepts




Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the pleasures that arise from food, drink and sex. It is the mean between the extremes of excess and defect in our behavior.

Opposed to temperance by way of defect in insensibility; that is, the complete lack of feeling for goods that delight the senses. Opposed to temperance by way of excess is sensuality, which seeks the satisfaction of our animal desires as a high priority.


 Reflection: Listening

To moderate is to eliminate excess and avoid defect.

Reflection: Reflecting

What is the balance between too much and too little?

Reflection: Responding

Moderate extreme desires and aversions for the pleasures of the senses.