Self-Interest and Integrity

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
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0019-0365
DOI 10.5840/ipq200242170
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Carol V. A. Quinn (2009). On Integrity. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (2):189-197.

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