Difference between quality and virtue 

Both terms are closely related, but they are different concepts. A quality is a characteristic of an animate or inanimate being, it is a natural or acquired character, while virtue is the disposition that a being has to act in an ideal way.


They are the own and innate characteristics that are attributed to a living being or an inanimate being. It is a natural or acquired character that distinguishes it from the rest of its species, person or group. Quality is often confused with qualification or excellence, concepts that are related to positive processes.

In these cases, the opposite of quality is a defect, so the most accepted concept of quality defines those positive characteristics. In the case of inanimate objects, it is a synonym for physical, chemical or mechanical property.


They are dispositions of people to act correctly under the ideals of good, truth or justice. It is a term contrary to vice and is important for ethics. For the Greeks virtue was very important, it was the excellence or fullness that man can achieve, they had a term to define it: Areté and defined the perfection or fullness of the powers that constitute nature.

According to Socrates, virtue is what helps us to do good through reasoning and philosophy. Plato for his part, affirmed that the human being has three tools: Intellect, will and emotion, to these correspond three virtues: Wisdom, courage and self-control. Justice is added to these three main virtues, which allows man to live responsibly.

Differences between quality and virtue

  • Quality is a characteristic of a living being or an object. In colloquial language it is assigned a positive value.
  • Virtue is the person’s disposition to act according to ethics and good.

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