The basic virtues of ancient Greek philosophy; justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance.
Webster's New World
Cardinal Virtues Sentence Examples
Chief of the cardinal virtues is humility, a confession of our own helplessness and submission to God.
The older school had taught that Gotama, who had propounded the doctrine of Arahatship, was a Buddha, that only a Buddha is capable of discovering that doctrine, and that a Buddha is a man who by self-denying efforts, continued through many hundreds of different births, has acquired the so-called Ten Paramitas or cardinal virtues in such perfection that he is able, when sin and ignorance have gained the upper hand throughout the world, to save the human race from impending ruin.
The peculiarity of this work - written, of course, from what is known as the intuitional point of view - is its fivefold division of the springs of action and of their objects, of the primary and universal rights of man (personal security, property, contract, family rights and government), and of the cardinal virtues (benevolence, justice, truth, purity and order).
On this triple division of the soul he founded a systematic view of the four kinds of goodness recognized by the common moral consciousness of Greece, and in later times known as the Cardinal Virtues.
He seems to have taken as a starting-point Plato's four cardinal virtues.