Principle

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vargetba

A principle is "a fundamental, primary, or general truth, on which other truths depend." Thus a principle is an abstraction which subsumes a great number of concretes. It is only by a means of principles that one can set one's long-range goals and evaluate the concrete alternatives of any given moment. It is only principles that enable a man to plan his future and achieve it.
["The Anatomy of Compromise", CUI, p144]

In ethics, principles for behavior are known as virtues.