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11/22/13

Intellectual Integrity | musings

musings
reflections of a social nomad

Intellectual Integrity
by K M Pathi
Last weekend as I was flying back from Hyderabad, I had two annoying passengers sitting next to me, what was annoying was the sexist remarks they kept making at the air hostesses whenever they happen to cross the gentlemen. I knew what was happening was wrong and hurtful and at times I was tempted to say something politely and firmly to indicate that their remarks were in poor taste. But I didnt and the moments passed. Later, reflecting back on the events, I thought of all the things I could have said or done. I felt bad about myself and in a way I thought I let myself down by not standing up for what I thought was wrong. The whole episode reminded me of Michael Lynchs book True to Life: Why Truth Matters and my own intellectual integrity. What is Intellectual Integrity? Intellectual integrity is an intellectual virtue and is a critical part of integrity proper. As an intellectual virtue its a combination of Aristotelian cardinal virtues of prudence and justice. As a virtue it is more mental and focuses on an individuals core convictions. It is all about: Willingness to stand up for your beliefs (reminds me of Bob Marleys Get up, Stand up!!) Being assertive of your judgments Acting in accordance with your convictions Not sacrificing your beliefs under coercion Intellectual integrity, in short is all about FORTITUDE (moral courage). SATYA Satya is one of the five vows enunciated by Mahavira and one of the core principles that Mahatma Gandhi adhered to all his life. I can see you all wondering what Satya has to do with intellectual integrity. In fact adherence to Satya is intellectual integrity, as intellectual integrity is all about caring for the Truth for its own sake. And this is revealed in several important ways in our daily lives.

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1/3 Firstly, intellectual integrity is not about standing up or defending every single idea you happen to land

11/22/13

Intellectual Integrity | musings

Firstly, intellectual integrity is not about standing up or defending every single idea you happen to land on. Intellectual integrity is to examine the idea, its rationale and then adopting it after being convinced of it. Therefore, intellectual integrity is a process of internalizing an idea and believing in it. Please remember, it is NOT ABOUT STANDING UP FOR ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. Secondly, an individual with intellectual integrity will not only stand up for truth, he will also display an honest willingness to pursue truth. In other words, they will form opinions only after careful pursuit and perusal of the facts and details. They are not the individuals who will follow ideas or have opinions because it is fashionable to have one. Thirdly, an individual with intellectual integrity stands for what he thinks is true, because he believes it to be true. It is this self-belief that is critical for intellectual integrity (remember Bar-Ons Self Regard). Lastly, intellectual integrity is not only an individuals assertion about his beliefs; it is also about being open to truth. In simple words, an individual may at times develop false or misleading convictions and at such times it is essential to have an open mind to accept the falseness of convictions and embrace the truth. Intellectual integrity in sum involves caring for truth, standing up for it, defending it and having courage to admit false convictions. Hope reading the post was intellectually stimulating! KMP

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PUBLISHED: August 25, 2013 (2013-08-25T20:41:06+0000) FILED UNDER: Ethics Blog at WordPress.com. The Manifest Theme. Follow

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11/22/13

Intellectual Integrity | musings

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