Honor and its Potential Power for Social Change

The Wellington - Winchilsea duel.I recently reviewed Kwame Anthoy Appiah’s The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen for The Boston Globe.

As I wrote in the review, “to say that The Honor Code is humane is no faint praise. Appiah wraps the fierceness of a polemic in the coolness and rationality of philosophy. “The Honor Code’’ understands cultural failure as human failure, and these failures are as often as not the result of frailty, not evil. As such, Appiah adopts the refreshing view that further human action can be a successful remedy to oppression. ‘Dignity,’ Appiah writes, ‘in its modern sense, has become a right to recognition respect, where we simply give appropriate weight to these crucial facts about people.’ And it is through the appreciation and revitalization — a reclamation — of honor that we can move the world out of our lingering dark ages.”


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