The first invitations to join honorethics.org as a moderator/contributor are being sent out today. To get the ball rolling, I thought we might start a discussion about the nature of honor.
When researching the question of honor’s nature, one is struck by the seemingly fundamental disagreements about the nature of honor. Some authors focus on traits related to integrity. Others on traits related to status and esteem. Others on violent responses to insult. One way to sidestep the issue is to say that one is talking about one “type” of honor, and provide an analysis of that. But suppose we tried to advance a theory of honor that made sense of all our commonplaces about it–in other words, a theory that would describe the interests of anyone who might read or write for this blog. What are the adequacy conditions that any theory of honor thus described must satisfy?
In the chapter of the book I’m writing that deals with this issue, I list these seven.
- Honor has something to do with status.
- Honor has something to do with integrity.
- Honor has something to do with reputation.
- Honor has something to do with forcefully responding to insult.
- Honor has something to do with the spirited defense of one’s rights, prerogatives, and dignity.
- Honor has something to do with manhood and warriorhood.
- Honor has something to do with high-mindedness, nobility.
What would your list look like? Anything above you’d strike or add?