Perseverance: patience and determination

Intuitively, the virtue-cluster of perseverance, patience and determination is very important to me, along with effort or diligence and reliability (a good base for trustworthiness). ``Perseverance'', while having specific nuances of its own, may also seem like a blanket term for the other two; ``patience'' is always used postively, while ``determination'', as a word, may have a perjorative cast to it, as in ``grim determination'' -- perhaps from those who come up against it?

Although I started this essay as the start of a series on virtues (rather than grumbles about things of which I disapprove), I've realized that determination is perhaps more a foundation for virtue than a virtue in its own right (although I'm sure it is one, too) -- for what would love without determination be but mere whimsy, the drive to countless fair-weather friendships?

Perhaps one negative connotation to ``determination'' is that of inflexibility -- an unchanging strategy to solve a goal that has been shifted (perhaps by someone else who doesn't want it solved!)... but that is characteristic of open-loop systems rather than closed-loop systems (in terms of control engineering) and not really connected with determination.

What does define this group of virtues, however, is the continuation of effort undismayed by non-acheivement. These can be two kinds of non-acheivement: unsuccessful results, and lack of any results; as I use the terms, I'd apply ``determination'' to the former, and ``patience'' to the latter.

``Values'' is a new area of my web pages; some of these pages are simply stubs to mark what should subsequently appear there.

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 21:39:56 GMT Daylight Time 2007