The Six Pillars of Character
The Josephson Institute of Ethics defines ethics in terms of moral duties and virtues
that flow from six core ethical values. We call these values the Six Pillars of Character:
Trustworthiness: Ethical people are worthy of trust. Trustworthiness means being honest,
having integrity, keeping your promises, and being loyal.
Respect: We must respect ourselves and remember that every person has the right to our
Responsibility: We must be accountable for our own actions, practice self-restraint, and
always do our best.
Justice and Fairness: Fairness is one of the most difficult values, because sometimes it
means doing the right thing even if others don't agree. We must try to do what we know is
fair and just.
Caring: Caring is concern for the interests of others.
Civic Virtue and Citizenship: Responsible citizenship means being involved in public
service. This includes voting, reporting crimes, testifying as a witness, protecting the
environment, and working for the candidate of our choice.