The Demandingness of Integrity: Saints, Monsters & Madmen

Integrity may not always be a virtue – or it may demand behaviour that is or appears socially awkward, harmful or even vicious. What is the difference (if any) between the fanatic and the person of uncompromising integrity? Can the demands of integrity be unreasonable, or can there be limits set on the demands of integrity which are internal to integrity itself? Might preserving integrity require us to become saints – or turn us into monsters? The worry connects to concerns about purity as an ethical ideal, and the sacrifices that seem to be demanded by adhering strictly to principle.

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Simone Weil Michael Kohlhaas


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