I'm presenting the main ideas from a re-worked version of my paper, "Integrity & Struggle," this weekend at the annual Conference on Value Inquiry (in Omaha, Nebraska, at Creighton University). I post the full version here for perusal and comment. The abstract:
Integrity is sometimes regarded in terms of the wholeness of the individual, such that persons who experience temptations or other sorts of inner conflicts, afflictions, or divisions of self would seem to lack integrity to a greater or lesser degree. I contrast this understanding of integrity—which I label psychological integrity—with a different conception which I call practical integrity. On the latter conception, persons can manifest integrity in spite of the various factors mentioned above, so long as they remain true to their commitments in action and deliberation. Although psychological harmony is one feature reasonably associated with integrity, I suggest that practical integrity captures other features of character and action often (and reasonably) related to ascriptions of integrity. Practical integrity remains possible even for those who must confront, manage, and control various factors that give rise to inner struggles.