Integrity

For as long as I can remember, I have studied people.

I try to guess at what people are thinking. I try to understand what drives them to do what they do.

What does their body language say about their personality? Are they the most powerful one in the group? Why is that guy feeling that way? And all kinds of other questions …

After a while of doing all this observing, I end up identifying character traits that I like (and ones that I don’t).

Recently, I have noticed that some of the character traits that I admire all can be categorized under the term integrity.

It is an ambiguous word. Stanford has a long article describing 8 different ways one could define it. Self-integration, identity, standing up for something, moral purpose, virtue, intellectual, artistic, etc.

The first interpretation speaks to me the most: integrity is “keeping the self intact and uncorrupted” through “strength of will”. Keeping the self uncorrupted reminds me of the purification of the mind that I talked about in this post.

Simplicity. Efficiency. Occam’s Razor. … Integrity.

I see integrity in scientists I admire.

They stick to the principles of rationality and science. It may be easier for them to let doubts or worries influence their judgement away from reality, but through strength of will, they fight the temptations.

They follow the rules of logic and rational thought in the attempt to achieve a full understanding of reality.

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