Truthfulness and Integrity (NE IV.7)

Howard J. Curzer

in Aristotle and the Virtues

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693726
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738890 | DOI:
Truthfulness and Integrity (NE IV.7)

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At first glance, one might think that Aristotle’s account of truthfulness is an oddly truncated account of the virtue of honesty. But Aristotle disperses honesty among the other virtues. Honestly speaking about physical risk is part of courage; honestly speaking about sensual pleasure is part of temperance; and so on. The sphere of truthfulness consists of situations in which people present their accomplishments and commitments to others. The passion of truthfulness is the desire to present oneself accurately to other people, and a corresponding horror of being a phony. Truthful self-presentation consists in speaking truthfully about one’s accomplishments and living up to one’s commitments. Thus, Aristotle’s account of truthfulness is not a flawed account of the virtue of honesty, but rather it is a sketchy, but insightful account of the virtue of integrity.

Keywords: truthfulness; integrity; self-presentation; honesty

Chapter.  12177 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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