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Integrity in modern ethics

There exists, however a more formal study of the term integrity and its meaning in modern ethics. It is often not only understood as a refusal to engage in behavior that evades responsibility, but as an understanding of different modes or styles in which some discourse takes place, and which aims at the discovery of some truth.

The Law

An adversarial process, for instance, has a certain type of integrity, in which those engaged in it commit not only to advance the case for "their own" side, but also to reveal where required evidence of use to other side, to follow certain rules in the debate, and to accept rulings from a judge or arbitrator. Those subverting this might appear to lack some integrity, and that would possibly hurt their case. So the philosophy of law concerns itself with the integrity of a practical or process style - integrity as a measure of trust in results, which in turn determines trust in authority itself. Integrity rules themselves probably foster this trust, and thus argument takes place in an authoritative mode: "pleading" to it, asking "relief", and such, as a means of demonstrating acceptance of a common régime of judgment and redress. Those who reject this and insist on some other form of integrity may be found in contempt of court or simply found guilty.


Scientists endow the scientific method with a certain base integrity, and deviance from it or shortcuts taken or people being accepted on their word may all reduce the perceived integrity of any results – in effect science operates on the basis of a very organized distrust, in contrast to the legal method which places a very organized trust in prior judgements and precedents. In fact, science consists in general of challenging, not upholding dogma.

Other Integrities

Studies of integrity also exist as it may occur in actions taken by the body, philosophy of the body itself or its wellness, the mind, its cognition and consciousness, and politics, e.g. the political virtues or views of consensus, e.g. "consent of the governed". It may also be seen in light of different philosophies of wholeness, such as commitment, authenticity or esteem, see the articles on those specific avenues of investigation.

See also

External links