On Virtue

Thumbnail image for 20 Aphorisms That I Thought Were Dumb as a Boy But Now Appreciate as a Grown Man

20 Aphorisms That I Thought Were Dumb as a Boy But Now Appreciate as a Grown Man

by AoM Team


This post brought to you by Old Spice. Use new Re-Fresh body spray and spray goodbye to your boyhood.. 20 aphorisms and sayings that I thought were lame as a boy, but now appreciate as a man.

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Thumbnail image for What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part IV: The Power of Moral Reminders

What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part IV: The Power of Moral Reminders

by Brett & Kate McKay

In the first post in this series we discussed the concept of the “Pyramid of Choice,” and the way in which taking an initial dishonest step can potentially set a person on a path of increasingly serious misdeeds that eventually carries them far away from their original principles. Yet one or even several bad choices […]

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Thumbnail image for What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part III: How to Stop the Spread of the Immorality Virus

What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part III: How to Stop the Spread of the Immorality Virus

by Brett & Kate McKay

Welcome back to our series on what weakens our integrity and how to strengthen it. Thus far we have discussed how we decide to commit a dishonest act, and how the distance between that act and its consequences can increase our ability to rationalize immorality as acceptable behavior. Today we are going to discuss another […]

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Thumbnail image for What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part II: Closing the Gap Between Our Actions and Their Consequences

What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part II: Closing the Gap Between Our Actions and Their Consequences

by Brett & Kate McKay

In the first post of this four-part series on what weakens our integrity and how we can strengthen it, we discussed how our decisions to act in dishonest ways are influenced by two factors: 1) wanting to get a reward – often financial/material, but also things like pleasure or fame, and 2) wanting to be […]

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Thumbnail image for What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part I: Why Small Choices Count

What Strengthens and Weakens Our Integrity – Part I: Why Small Choices Count

by Brett & Kate McKay

Integrity. It’s a quality every man worth his salt aspires to. It encompasses many of the best and most admirable traits in a man: honesty, uprightness, trustworthiness, fairness, loyalty, and the courage to keep one’s word and one’s promises, regardless of the consequences. The word integrity derives from the Latin for “wholeness” and it denotes […]

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Thumbnail image for What Is Character? Its 3 True Qualities and How to Develop It

What Is Character? Its 3 True Qualities and How to Develop It

by Brett & Kate McKay

Character. Like honor, it’s a word we take for granted and probably have an affinity for, but likely have never really had to define and may struggle to do so when pressed. It’s a word most men desire to have ascribed to them, and yet the standards of its attainment remain rather vague in our […]

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Got Thumos?

by Brett & Kate McKay

Last week we explored Plato’s allegory of the chariot, which the ancient philosopher used to explain the tripartite nature of the soul or psyche. In the allegory, a chariot (representing the soul) is pulled by a rebellious dark horse (symbolizing man’s appetites) and a spirited white horse (symbolizing thumos). The charioteer, or Reason, is tasked […]

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Thumbnail image for What Is a Man? The Allegory of the Chariot

What Is a Man? The Allegory of the Chariot

by Brett & Kate McKay

What is a man? What sort of man should I be? What does it mean to live a good life? What is the best way to live and how do I attain excellence? What should I aim for, and what training and practices must I do to achieve those aims? Such questions have been asked […]

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Thumbnail image for Personal Responsibility 102: The Importance of Owning Up to Your Mistakes and How to Do It

Personal Responsibility 102: The Importance of Owning Up to Your Mistakes and How to Do It

by Brett & Kate McKay

Yesterday we discussed the cognitive blind spots our brains generate that can make it difficult for us to honestly assess our actions and determine our responsibility for those actions and their consequences. We discovered the way in which our brains are inclined to flatter and shield our egos from blame when we make mistakes. Despite […]

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Thumbnail image for Personal Responsibility 101: Why Is It So Hard to Own Up to Our Mistakes?

Personal Responsibility 101: Why Is It So Hard to Own Up to Our Mistakes?

by Brett & Kate McKay

“All this has been my fault. I asked more of my men than should have been asked of them.” –Robert E. Lee, after heavy Confederate losses at Pickett’s Charge “I had the opportunity and the information and I failed to make use of it. I don’t know what an inquest or a court of law […]

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Thumbnail image for 12 Vintage Instructional Films Worth Watching

12 Vintage Instructional Films Worth Watching

by Brett & Kate McKay

Maybe you’ve seen the classic Civil Defense film “Duck and Cover” as part of a documentary about the postwar period, a clip of an unintentionally hilarious hygiene film while watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, or a vintage film we ourselves included in a post like this one. Have you ever wondered where these short instructional […]

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Thumbnail image for Count No Man Happy Until the End Is Known

Count No Man Happy Until the End Is Known

by Brett & Kate McKay

As Herodotus tells it, Croesus, the ancient king of Lydia, was once visited at his palace by Solon, a wise sage and Athenian lawgiver. The king was delighted to have the itinerant philosopher in residence, and welcomed him with warm hospitality. For several days, Croesus instructed his servants to show off the full measure of […]

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Thumbnail image for A Man Is Punctual: The Importance of Being on Time

A Man Is Punctual: The Importance of Being on Time

by Brett & Kate McKay

The life of George Washington was characterized by a scrupulous regard for punctuality. When he asked a man to bring by some horses he was interested in buying at five in the morning, and the man arrived fifteen minutes late, he was told by the stable groom that the general had been waiting there at […]

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Thumbnail image for Practical Wisdom: The Master Virtue

Practical Wisdom: The Master Virtue

by Brett & Kate McKay

In 2008, Christopher Ratte and his seven-year-old son were attending a Detroit Tigers game together. When Ratte went to the concession stand, he grabbed a beer for himself and a Mike’s Hard Lemonade for his son, unaware that the drink contained 5% alcohol.  When a security guard saw Ratte’s son nursing the bottle of the […]

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Thumbnail image for The Law of Sacrifice

The Law of Sacrifice

by Brett & Kate McKay

Last month, James “Jimmer” Fredette was selected in the NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. It was a moment that capped off a breakout season for Jimmer. In his senior year, Fredette captured national attention with his dazzling three-point shooting and led the Brigham Young Cougars to a record-breaking number of wins and the school’s […]

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Is Forgiveness Manly?

by Brett & Kate McKay

“No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick — on account of the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labour. I forced the last stone into […]

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Thumbnail image for On Manly Loyalty

On Manly Loyalty

by Brett & Kate McKay

In Dante’s Inferno, Dante takes an allegorical journey through the nine levels of Hell. With Virgil as his guide, he ventures through nine concentric circles, each level inhabited by successively worse sinners. Dante works his way through limbo, lust, gluttony, avarice, wrath and sloth, heresy, violence, and fraud, before finally making it the center of the earth and the lowest circle of Hell.

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Making a Difference

by Antonio

Civilian Conservation Corps, Oregon A man walking on the beach saw a child reaching down to pick up small objects and then throwing them into the ocean. He called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”  The child looked up and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must […]

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Thumbnail image for In Praise of Sprezzatura: The Compleat Gentleman Giveaway

In Praise of Sprezzatura: The Compleat Gentleman Giveaway

by Brett & Kate McKay

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Brad Miner. Mr. Miner is the author of The Compleat Gentleman. For a chance to win his book, see the details below. What was once called sprezzatura, a wonderful word coined by the sixteenth-century writer Baldassare Castiglione, is a kind of graceful restraint that is an elemental […]

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