Table of Contents

The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good

The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited by Kleio Akrivou and Alejo José G Sison

The evolution of modern capitalist society is increasingly being marked by an undeniable and consistent tension between pure economic and ethical ways of valuing and acting. This book is a collaborative and cross-disciplinary contribution that challenges the assumptions of capitalist business and society. It ultimately reflects on how to restore benevolence, collaboration, wisdom and various forms of virtuous deliberation amongst all those who take part in the common good, drawing inspiration from European history and continental philosophical traditions on virtue.

Chapter 11: Two kinds of human integrity: towards the ethics of the inter-processual self

Kleio Akrivou and José Víctor Orón

Subjects: business and management, business ethics and trust, business leadership, corporate social responsibility


Throughout the history of philosophy and psychology, a search has been made to find common origins that demonstrate how the self and human action and human growth are understood. This research finds that different authors – in philosophy and psychology – form two distinct and contrasting conceptions of a virtuous self and human integrity. One is an autonomous understanding of the self as primarily a rationalist subject and agent, with a relevant conception of integrity as autonomous, principled will. The second is a more relational–systemic and processual understanding of self and agency. This is presented as an inter-processual self (IPS). It is premised on the systemic balancing of three fundamentals of being human: the self as part of nature; the self as subject-agent; and the self as a person. Congruently two contrasting ways of understanding and presenting the self and development ensue in modern life. It is argued that these two conceptions of the self and integrity offer two incommensurable moral psychologies. A critique of the autonomous understanding of the self, human action and human integrity is found to be limited and lacking balance. The authors argue for a moral psychology premised on an IPS and its resulting conception of human integrity and human growth as congruent with the premises of virtue ethics. It is suggested that this moral psychology can ensure a gradual process whereby human beings collaboratively generate shared action pathways for the common good.

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