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NEASC INSTITUTIONAL SELF-STUDY
STANDARD ELEVEN: INTEGRITY
WHAT IS INTEGRITY?



 

IN·TEG·RI·TY:

A) Pronunciation: \In*teg"ri*ty\, in-'te-gr&-tE, ihn teh grih ti
B) Function: noun
C) Etymology: Middle English integrite, from Middle French integrité, from Latin integritat-, integritas, soundness, from integr-, integer, whole, complete, entire. See tag- in Indo-European roots.
D) Date: 14th century
E)
Definition:

1.
A strong sense of honesty and morality; firmness of moral and ethical character (Wordsmyth).

Firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary).

Moral soundness; honesty; freedom from corrupting influence or motive; —used especially with reference to the fulfillment of contracts, the discharge of agencies, trusts, and the like; uprightness; rectitude (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary).

Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language)

The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change (Cambridge International Dictionary of English)

Examples

a) He showed great integrity when he refused to lie for his employer.
b) The moral grandeur of independent integrity is the sublimest thing in nature. —Buckminster.
c) No one doubted that Mr. Harwood and Cianci were men of the highest integrity.
d) Their sober zeal, integrity, and worth. —Cowper.

Synonyms:
honesty, uprightness, rectitude, probity, honor, incorruptibility.

2.
The state or quality of being entire or complete; wholeness; entireness; unbroken state; as, the integrity of an empire or territory. —Sir Thomas More (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.).

The condition of being whole and undamaged; soundness (Wordsmyth).

The quality or state of being complete or undivided (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary).

An unreduced or unbroken completeness or totality [syn: unity, wholeness] (WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University).

Examples

a) Language continued long in its purity and integrity. —Sir M. Hale
b) A modern extension on the old building would ruin its architectural integrity.
c) The integrity of a building; the integrity of our political system.

Synonyms: completeness, intactness, soundness, wholeness.

3. INTEGRITY:
The quality of a person who can be counted upon to give precedence to moral considerations, even when there is strong inducement to let self-interest or some clamant desire override them, or where the betrayal of moral principle might pass undetected. To have integrity is to have unconditional and steady commitment to moral values and obligations. For such a person, the fundamental question whether to conduct life on the plane of self-concern or of moral seriousness has been decisively resolved, though particular life situations will doubtless continue to put that commitment to strenuous test. This moral commitment becomes a crucial component in his or her sense of identity as a person: it confers a unity (integration) of character, and even simplicity upon the man or woman of integrity. What integrity cannot guarantee is the soundness of the value judgments themselves, which form the core of that person’s commitment.

—adapted from R. W. Hepburn, in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (NY: Oxford University Press, 1995): 410.


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