Personality and Morality

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I will explore the mutual relationship between morality and personality. While these two concepts are certainly related – who else needs morality but human persons, and how could someone be a person without being concerned with morality? – there are also tensions between them. First, while morality (like law) aspires toward a universal application and validity, personality necessarily involves an element of uniqueness; what happens when what my unique personality prompts me to do is in conflict with the general norms of morality? Second, personality is something dynamic and every personality must develop: while the focus on morality seems to be what a person does, the focus on personality seems to be on who or what a person wants to become. To explore these issues further, I will consider four possible models of their mutual relationship: 1. Their initial union, in which neither concept is fully developed; 2. Their initial separation, when the concept of morality becomes objectified into a moral law and dominates over the concept of personality [reflecting most of the Western history]; 3. A reaction to 2., which led to a further development in favor of the relative independence of individuality [which mostly captures the human condition in the last 150 years]; 4. A possible reintegration of morality and personality through which they could enhance each other and better serve a further development of humanity.