Self-Interest and Integrity

Abstract
Philosophical discussions of the conflict between morality and self-interest typically proceed on the assumption that we have a relatively unproblematic understanding of self-interest. That assumption can be challenged by asking how to relate acts of self-interest and acts of integrity. I argue that when we are talking about motivations, it is better to keep the motivation of self-interest distinct from the motivation of integrity. But the term “self-interest” can also be used to refer to an end, and acts of integrity may sometimes serve the end of self-interest. Against an identity-independent conception of interests (which gives to acts of integrity a possible instrumental value in achieving some interests), I argue in favor of an identity-dependent conception of interests that makes interests relative to the evaluative perspective of someone with a particular identity that acts of integrity help to preserve
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