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Cowardice is a vice. Conventionally it is the corruption of prudence. Cowardice may be considered to be prudence that does not take consequences to their furthest extent.

Cowardice is not fear, but rather a submission to vice that uses fear as a pretext. Here's an example of virtuous fear: We all fear to dive head-first into a swimming pool the depth of which we do not know. An example of cowardice would be to refuse to testify against a crime lord, merely because one might risk death.

See also: virtue