Integrity It is necessary to outline that the term “integrity” is considered polysemantic meaning it is provided with lots of meanings. Integrity is the most important terms used in virtue ethics, for example. Integrity is used in the scientific and technological fields. Therefore, this term is often puzzling and perplexing. Sometimes people use integrity as a synonym to “moral” trying to distinguish that person is acting with integrity. However, researchers noted that people of integrity may act immorally, even if they are unaware of their immoral actions.
Thus it is necessary to say that a person may be of integrity even if he holds importantly mistaken perspectives on ethics and morality. Firstly, integrity is defined a quality of a person’s character. Then people thinking of integrity of wilderness region or ecosystem, art forms, computerized database, etc. Integrity is applied mostly to the objects and it suggests purity, intactness and wholeness of an object. These meanings are often applied to people.
Speaking about regions, integrity means that a region isn’t corrupted by side-effects of development and its advance.
Region of integrity suggests wilderness and uncorrupted or virgin. In computer science, integrity means that computer database is able to maintain power and resist to errors, integrity of defense systems suggests that system isn’t breached. In music, for example, musical work has integrity if its musical structure is provided with completeness which is coordinated and has related music ideas. Simply saying integrity in music means that music piece is whole, intact and pure. Integrity is found in many aspects of human’s life.
For example, there are ideas of intellectual, professional and artistic integrity. Nevertheless, integrity has found its application mostly in philosophy meaning human’s general character. As it is noted “philosophers have been particularly concerned to understand what it is for a person to exhibit integrity throughout life”. In philosophy, when a person acts with integrity on a particular occasion it means that integrity is explained as broader feature of person’ character. There is a claim that person should possess integrity.
Ordinary discourse about integrity involves two fundamental intuitions: first, that integrity is primarily a formal relation one has to oneself, or between parts or aspects of one’s self; and second, that integrity is connected in an important way to acting morally, in other words, there are some substantive or normative constraints on what it is to act with integrity. How these two intuitions can be incorporated into a consistent theory of integrity is not obvious, and most accounts of integrity tend to focus on one of these intuitions to the detriment of the other.
Integrity is a matter of persons integrating various parts of their personality into a harmonious, intact whole. Understood in this way, the integrity of persons is analogous to the integrity of things: integrity is primarily a matter of keeping the self intact and uncorrupted. A related approach to integrity is to think of it primarily in terms of a person’s holding steadfastly true to their commitments, rather than ordering and endorsing desires. “Commitment” is used as a broad umbrella term covering many different kinds of intentions, promises, convictions and relationships of trust and expectation.
One may be, and usually is, committed in many different ways to many different kinds of thing: people, institutions, traditions, causes, ideals, principles, projects, and so on. The self-integration and identity views of integrity see it as primarily a personal virtue: a quality defined by a person’s care of the self. Persons of integrity treat their own endorsements as ones that matter, or ought to matter, to fellow deliberators. Calhoun’s account of integrity promises to explain why it is that the fanatic lacks integrity.
It seems intuitively very plausible to distinguish between fanatical zeal and integrity, but the self-integration and identity views of integrity threaten to make the fanatic a paradigm case of a person of integrity.
References Graham, Jody L. (2001). Does Integrity Require Moral Goodness? Ratio 14, 2, 234-251. Harcourt, Edward (1998). Integrity, Practical Deliberation and Utilitarianism. Philosophical Quarterly, 48, 189-198. Herbert, Mark R. (2002). Integrity, Identity and Fanaticism. Contemporary Philosophy 24, 25-29.