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Civic Virtues

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Civic Virtues

Civility

Civility

Civility is a social virtue that is indispensable to open political discourse and reasoned disagreement. A civil person is willing to engage others in respectful dialogue without scorn or insult, even when the issues are intensely important or disagreement runs deep. Civility has especially strong connections with intellectual humility and self-regulation.

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Compassion

Compassion

Compassion is the ability to feel sorrow over another person’s suffering, and to express that sorrow in a way that is intended to alleviate that suffering. Unlike pity, compassion does not suggest any feeling of superiority to the suffering person, but is instead a virtue that forms a bond with the sufferer.

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Fairness

Fairness

Fairness is a central virtue both for individuals and for social institutions. Fairness is characterized by impartiality (a lack of favoritism). When people exhibit fairness, they consistently apply standards and rules to everyone and insist that others do the same, regardless of people's power or prestige, and whatever the consequences for the self or a preferred group. Fairness is thus an essential element of justice.

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