The Honor Code

How Moral Revolutions Happen

By Appiah, Kwame Anthony

Publishers Summary:
In this landmark work, a leading philosopher demonstrates the revolutionary power of honor in ending human suffering. Long neglected as an engine of reform, honor strikingly emerges at the center of our modern world in Kwame Anthony Appiah's The Honor Code. Over the last few centuries, new democratic movements have led to the emancipation of women, slaves, and the oppressed. But what drove these modern changes, Appiah argues, was not imposing legislation from above, but harnessing the ancient power of honor from within. In gripping detail, he explores the end of the duel in aristocratic England, the tumultuous struggles over footbinding in nineteenth-century China, and the uprising of ordinary people against Atlantic slavery. Finally, he confronts the horrors of "honor killing" in contemporary Pakistan, where rape victims are murdered by their relatives. He argues that honor, used to justify the practice, can also be the most effective weapon against it. Intertwining philosophy and historical narrative, Appiah has created a remarkably dramatic work, which demonstrates that honor is the driving force in the struggle against man's inhumanity to man.

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ISBN
978-0-39307-162-7
Publisher
Norton


REVIEWS

Library Journal

Reviewed on November 1, 2010

Appiah's (philosophy, Princeton Univ.; Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers) latest is a thought-provoking, troubling book that asks: How do people come to change their moral outlooks? Appiah thinks they do so by changing their views of what is "honorable." He cites the end of slavery in England, driven in part by the sense that slave trading cast doubt on national honor, and the end of the foot binding that horrified missio...Log In or Sign Up to Read More

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