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Integrity, Honesty, and Truth Seeking

Edited by Christian B. Miller and Ryan West

Publication Date - March 2020

ISBN: 9780190666033

368 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $26.95


We tend to admire people who stay true to their convictions in the face of opposition, who are not tempted to twist or withhold the truth for selfish reasons, and who seek the truth even when it means giving up their cherished views. Indeed, integrity, honesty, and truth seeking are crucial virtues on both intimate and global scales, significant in everything from our relationships to our politicians' accountability. The past forty years have witnessed a dramatic resurgence of philosophical interest in the virtues. And yet there has been surprisingly little work among philosophers aimed at helping us better understand these three truth-related virtues.

Edited by philosophers Christian B. Miller and Ryan West, this interdisciplinary volume significantly advances the discussion of integrity, honesty, and truth seeking by incorporating the insights and perspectives of experts in philosophy, law, communication and rhetorical studies, theology, psychology, history, and education. Each of the volume's three sections is devoted to one virtue, and comprises a conceptual chapter about the nature of the virtue in question, an application chapter that explores the virtue's central role in an area of human life, and a developmental chapter covering some of the ways people can foster the virtue. Additionally, the volume addresses experimental work on honest and dishonest behavior, one of the fastest growing and most important research areas in the field of moral psychology today.

Every reader will come away from this volume with a deepened knowledge of and appreciation for the essential roles of these three virtues in our world, and rich resources for developing and sustaining them in life.


  • Presents innovative and cutting-edge research on the related virtues of integrity, honesty, and truth seeking
  • Highly interdisciplinary, with contributions from philosophy, law, communication and rhetorical studies, theology, psychology, history, and education
  • Offers practical guidance on how to develop these virtues, as well as greater conceptual clarity and appreciation for their importance in the world

About the Author(s)

Christian B. Miller is A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University. He was the Philosophy Director of the Beacon Project and the Director of the Character Project. He is the author of over 80 academic papers as well as three books with Oxford University Press, Moral Character: An Empirical Theory (2013), Character and Moral Psychology (2014), and The Character Gap: How Good Are We? (2017). His writings have also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Slate, The Conversation, Newsweek, Aeon, and Christianity Today. Miller is the editor or co-editor of Essays in the Philosophy of Religion (OUP, 2006), Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology (OUP, 2015), Moral Psychology, Volume V: Virtue and Character (MIT Press, 2017), and The Continuum Companion to Ethics (Continuum Press, 2011).

Ryan West is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Grove City College. His research areas include ethics, philosophical psychology, and philosophy of religion. His work has appeared in such journals as Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Synthese, Faith and Philosophy, and Journal of Religious Ethics.


"The ten essays in the present collection focus on different aspects of integrity, honesty, and truth seeking (a section is devoted to each), all of which have become important in the recent political climate. Most of the contributors are philosophers, but other disciplines are represented, including economics, theology, communication studies, and history. Some contributors focus on theory, whereas others address more practical concerns...This is an interesting and timely collection, and the essays are thoughtful and well written. All the papers were written specially for this volume, and taken together, they offer a pioneering discussion of a somewhat neglected set of virtues...Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." -- CHOICE

Table of Contents

    Series Editor's Foreword
    , Christian B. Miller and Ryan West

    Part One: Integrity
    Chapter 1: To Thine Own Self Be True? Integrity and Concern for Truth, Greg Scherkoske
    Chapter 2: The Legal Enforcement of Integrity, Stuart P. Green
    Chapter 3: Enacting Integrity, Jennifer A. Herdt

    Part Two: Honesty
    Chapter 4: The Virtue of Honesty: A Conceptual Exploration, Robert C. Roberts and Ryan West
    Chapter 5: Honesty as Ethical Communicative Practice: A Framework for Analysis, Janie Harden Fritz
    Chapter 6: Margarita Leib and Shaul Shalvi, Justifications as a Threat to Honesty: A Behavioral Ethics Approach
    Chapter 7: Becoming Honest: Why We Lie and What Can Be Done About It, Steven L. Porter and Jason Baehr

    Part Three: Truth Seeking
    Chapter 8: Intellectual Temperance: Lessons in Truth Seeking from Augustine and Aquinas, W. Jay Wood
    Chapter 9: Historical Truth and the Truthfulness of Historians, Martin Jay
    Chapter 10: Developing Truth Seekers, Philip E. Dow