From Charlottesville to the Nobel: Political Leaders and the Morality of Political Honors

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

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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Citations of this work

How Statues Speak.David Friedell & Shen-yi Liao - 2022 - The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (4):444-452.
Commemoration, Militarism, and Gratitude.Kyle Fruh - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-20.

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