Integrity and the virtues of reason: Leading a convincing life, written by Greg Scherkoske (Book Review)
Date of this Version
ISSN: 1740-4681 E-ISSN: 1745-5243
BOOK REVIEW Extract: Integrity, it seems, is a matter of remaining true to oneself, or rather, it is a matter of remaining true to what one reasonably judges to be the best of oneself. In Integrity and the Virtues of Reason, Greg Scherkoske seeks to overturn this piece of conventional wisdom. It is a fine book and I learned a lot from it.
Scherkoske elaborates and defends the idea that integrity is an epistemic virtue; that it is not fundamentally a matter of being true to oneself but of being a good and responsible epistemic agent. What is wrong with the conventional picture, Scherkoske thinks, is that it invites moral danger. The moral danger Scherkoske has in mind takes two forms. One is self-indulgence. When faced with demands from others, fidelity to one's own commitments just because they are one's own can easily lead to a promotion of one's own interests over the interests of others. The second danger is blind allegiance. "Even if a person's commitments cannot be construed as self-indulgent or egoistic, an individual's belief that something is a matter of integrity might be taken to foreclose the possibility of challenge and revision".