What is honor? Has its meaning changed since ancient times? Is it an outmoded notion? Does it still have the power to direct our behavior? In this provocative book Alexander Welsh considers the history and meaning of honor and dismisses the idea that we live in a post-honor culture. He notes that we have words other than honor, such as respect, self-respect, and personal identity, that show we do indeed care deeply about honor. Honor, he argues, is a continuing process of respect that motivates or constrains members of a peer group. Honor's dictates function as moral imperatives. Surprisingly, little systematic study of the history of honor in Western culture has been attempted. Offering a welcome remedy, Welsh provides a genealogy of approaches to the subject, mining some of the most influential texts of the Western tradition. He rereads with fascinating results the works of Aristotle, Cicero, Shakespeare, Mandeville, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, Adam Smith, and others. With a sharp focus on the intersection of honor and ethics in both literature and philosophy, Welsh invites new and constructive debate on a topic of vital interest.
On moralities of obedience and respect Help from anthropology and psychology Respect in the ethics of Aristotle Cicero's mediation of the same Shakespeare's recourse to Roman honor His Antony, Cleopatra, and Coriolanus Honor by that name in Mandeville and Montesquieu Leveling down in Enlightenment fiction Coming of age in neoclassical drama And how Rousseau's Emile comes of age Kant's engagement with honor Parallels to Kant's moral philosophy Respect and Adam Smith's impartial spectator Adam Smith and recent social science Coming to terms with honor in philosophy.
Bibliographic Level Mode of Issuance: Monograph Includes bibliographical references (p. 213-222) and index.