Ethics 130 (3):415-445 (2020)

Political honors are ubiquitous in public life, whether in the form of public monuments, street names, or national holidays. Yet such honors have received scant attention from normative political theorists. Tackling this gap, I begin by criticizing a desert-based approach to political honors. I then argue that morally appropriate honors are best understood as marking and reinforcing the moral commitments of the collective in whose name they are being awarded. I show how this thesis clarifies and organizes core intuitions regarding a variety of honors, from those commemorating slave-owning founders of the United States to the Nobel Peace Prize.
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DOI 10.1086/707215
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