This seminar has now been cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Many philosophers hold that persons of integrity must be morally good, or that integrity is essentially connected to moral goodness. Contrary to this trend is the 'identity-view' of integrity, commonly associated with Bernard Williams. The identity-view claims that integrity simply involves staying true to our deepest commitments, principles, and projects; and so, these needn't necessarily be moral ones.
Critics have argued against the identity account on the grounds that its failure to include a substantive constraint on the kinds of commitment a person of integrity can have allows for counterintuitive cases where, for example, the fanatical Nazi, can count as having integrity. In this presentation, I argue that this objection fails because it relies on a naïve picture of human psychology and so greatly exaggerates the worry. I then show how we can still make sense of the value of integrity on this view despite it allowing for the possibility of a genuinely evil person having integrity.
Ockham Society Convenor: Sean Costello | Ockham Society Webpage