Summary and Analysis Book IV: Chapter III



Magnanimity (also known as high-mindedness or great-souledness) is the mean between vanity and small-mindedness or pettiness. It presupposes possession of all the other virtues, for high-mindedness is the quality of those who think they deserve great things (e.g., honor, public office, respect) and actually do deserve them. High-mindedness, by definition, implies greatness; it is knowing that to which you are entitled and insisting on it, but it also involves maintaining high standards in all things and setting an example for the community. A man who falsely claims honor and other great things is vain. A man who underestimates his own value is small-minded and petty.