The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, by Kwame Anthony Appiah [Book Review]

Mind 122 (486):fzt064 (2013)
Dan Demetriou
University of Minnesota, Morris
Honor has been in disrepute among intellectuals for almost a century now. The standard explanation for honor’s demise is its role in driving young men and their countries to surpass the limits of acceptable human slaughter in the First World War, the trenches of which became ‘a mass grave for honor’ (Welsh 2008: x). Academic interest in honor revived in the 1950s among anthropologists and sociologists, where it was treated with a studied moral distance. Literary scholars, historians, and political scientists took up the subject a generation later, and broached the question of whether honor should be rehabiliated. So it was only a matter of time until philosophers turned their attention to honor (by name) in any sustained way. Fortunately for our field, one of the first to do so was Kwame Anthony Appiah. The Honor Code is an enjoyable, approachable, and yet immensely learned book in which all of Appiah’s many capabilities—as a philosopher, a historian of ideas, a cosmopolitan, and a prose stylist—are on full display in the service of honor and our understanding of it.
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzt064
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Honor and Moral Revolution.Victor Kumar & Richmond Campbell - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):147-59.

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