Read ღირსების კოდექსი: როგორ ხდება ზნეობრივი რევოლუციები by Kwame Anthony Appiah Online

ღირსების კოდექსი: როგორ ხდება ზნეობრივი რევოლუციები

კვამე ენტონი აპიას ,,ღირსების კოდექსი: "როგორ ხდება მორალური რევოლუციები“.წიგნის ავტორი, ერთ ერთი ყველაზე პოპულარული თანამედროვე ფილოსოფოსია, რომელმაც ამ ნაშრომით სრულიად ახლებურად დაგვანახა ადამიანის ბუნება და ის სოციალური რეფორმები, რომელთა შესახებაც ყველას გვსმენია. წიგნის კითხვისას, თქვენ ერთდროულად ისტორიაშიც იმოგზაურებთ და ფილოსოფიური თვალითაც შეხედავთ ისეთ მოვლენებსკვამე ენტონი აპიას ,,ღირსების კოდექსი: "როგორ ხდება მორალური რევოლუციები“.წიგნის ავტორი, ერთ ერთი ყველაზე პოპულარული თანამედროვე ფილოსოფოსია, რომელმაც ამ ნაშრომით სრულიად ახლებურად დაგვანახა ადამიანის ბუნება და ის სოციალური რეფორმები, რომელთა შესახებაც ყველას გვსმენია. წიგნის კითხვისას, თქვენ ერთდროულად ისტორიაშიც იმოგზაურებთ და ფილოსოფიური თვალითაც შეხედავთ ისეთ მოვლენებს, როგორიცაა: დუელი, მონობა, მკვლელობები. ავტორის აზრით, ბოლო საუკუნეში მომხდარი დემოკრატიული ცვლილებები არათუ კანონის მეშვეობით მოხდა, არამედ ამ ცვლილებების მამოძრავებელი ძალა სწორედ ადამიანური ღირსება იყო....

Title : ღირსების კოდექსი: როგორ ხდება ზნეობრივი რევოლუციები
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789941069390
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 238 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

ღირსების კოდექსი: როგორ ხდება ზნეობრივი რევოლუციები Reviews

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-01-18 08:58

    I had been waiting for a book on this exact subject to come my way. Short (204 pages) but packed, pungent and profound, this was just what I wanted.The question is this – we know that great improvements in human behavior have been made over the centuries, just as we know great crimes and follies continue to be committed. How were the moral changes made? Why did some people decide to abandon the evil customs of centuries and become better human beings? Why would they do that? Because it’s always easier to stay the same and not change.Professor Appiah chooses three very interesting examples of where things really got better for human beings. The first one is probably now regarded as peculiar and almost amusing, rather than a great crime – duelling. The second will make you feel very sick if you spend more than 30 seconds thinking about it : Chinese foot binding. The third is the most famous : slavery. These were three successful moral revolutions – the good guys won. He concludes with a fourth example which is contemporary – the battle is still in doubt here : honour killings.DUELLINGYou remember the opening scenes of Romeo and Juliet and the general gang war between the Bloods and the Crips – the duel, with all its precise elaborate rituals and rules, was invented to replace all that mayhem. Instead of the honour of one family, or gang, being only satisfied after 30 people lay dead in the streets, the individual who perceived himself to be disrespected challenged the disrespecter to mortal combat, usually at dawn, with swords or, later, pistols. By the 9th century popes were denouncing duels as unchristian. It took another thousand years for duels to finally peter out in Britain.Duels were an aristocratic thing, and strictly male. Whoever heard of two women duelling? That would never do – what would Jane Austen have said? And really, they were always incomprehensible. If you insult my honour by saying that I had sex with a wombat and I always smell of garlic, and I challenge you to a duel, and I shoot you dead, does that now prove that I never had sex with a wombat and never smell of garlic? Well, of course it doesn’t. An 18th century writer put it like this :If having seized a man who has murdered my wife, I should carry him before a tribunal, and demand justice, what would we think of the judge, if he should order that the criminal and I should cast lots which of us should be hanged.The deaths which happened during duels were always technically murder, but because the authorities shared the same honour system as the duelers, these were never prosecuted. A writ would be issued, the surviving duelist would bugger off to France for a few months, and the matter would be forgotten. How duelling declined was amusing - it became popular with the middle classes. When the lords and dukes noticed that drapers and hauliers and bottletop manufacturers were duelling to protect their honour, they concluded that duelling was no longer honourable. And when the middle class noticed the aristocrats didn’t do it any more, the glamour wore off rapidly.CHINESE FOOTBINDINGThis atrocity involved only women. By the late 13th century:Families which claimed aristocratic lineage came to feel compelled to bind the feet of their girls…as a visible sign of upper-class distinctionThe meaning was clear : upper class girls and women do not work. The tiny bound (read: crushed) feet made it impossible for them to run, and they could only walk in tiny steps. Prof Appiah continues:Men came to long for small-footed women; and this painful practice was made bearable to women – as they endured it themselves, and as they witnessed the pain of daughters, nieces and granddaughters – by the conviction that their tiny feet were simply beautiful. This conviction is hard to share if you look at the pictures of the bare foot freed from its bindings… but we have to remember that this was not what most people saw.Here is the first of this book’s major points : what brought foot binding to an end was NOT the moral objections to it – these were known to everyone from the beginning, as duelling was known to be illegal. Foot binding continued for centuries until the invasion of China by Western countries in the 19th century. China had assumed it was the most civilized and advanced country on earth, but had to acknowledge - after the persuasive arguments of naval bombardment - that in many respects it was now lagging behind, and needed urgent modernization.It became known to the Chinese intelligentsia that foot binding was something which the outside world considered to be brutal, degrading, and dishonourable to China itself. That which inside China was a mark of honour was outside China the very reverse. The Chinese anti-foot binding movement was massively successful in a very short space of time – one survey found that 99% of women had bound feet in Tinghsien (a conservative rural area) in 1899 and in 1919 none of them had. 99% to zero. Not bad! The campaign had a clever strategy:It created unbound unmarried women and men who would marry them at the same time… to refrain from binding your daughter’s feet and from marrying your son to foot-bound women did exactly what was required.SLAVERYAgain, the moral arguments against slavery were understood from the beginning. The question was how to mobilise these arguments. There were two parts to the abolition movement in Britain – first, to abolish the slave trade. This was done by act of parliament in 1807. But of course there were still slaves throughout the British empire. Finally in 1833 they were emancipated by another act in parliament. I shall refrain from summarizing Prof Appiah’s arguments here except to say that the gist of it is that the growing working class movement in Britain was convinced that slavery was a crime being committed daily by Great Britain in the name of all its citizens, and was therefore profoundly dishonourable to Great Britain. And it was from those workers that the big push came. Check out these numbers:It is likely that more than 20% of British men over the age of 15 signed the anti-slavery petitions of 1833. To sign up that proportion of the male population of that age in the United States in 2010, you would have to persuade more than 23 million people, and you would have to do it without the resources of the internet!HONOUR KILLINGSFinally the book gives us a moral revolution which hasn’t happened yet, the honor killings of women. This is a very difficult subject – for instance, it is often stated to be a problem of Muslim societies, but Prof Appiah says clearly that Islam prohibits these murders (“In the struggle against honour killings, Islam is an ally”). And also, any campaign against honour killings should readily admit that dis-honour killings of women by non-Muslim men happen in Western societies on a daily basis. To discuss this issue would double the length of this already lengthy review so let’s just conclude withA CONCLUSIONDuelling and foot binding were considered marks of honour. Britain for centuries thought the slave trade was an honourable enterprise. The revolutions which got rid of these barbarities happened when they became perceived as DIShonourable. And this has to be done by a subtle combination of outsiders informing the insiders and of insiders accepting this new perspective and informing their fellow insiders.An excellent discussion of a crucial subject – recommended.

  • Walaa
    2019-01-18 09:50

    للتحميل :http://www.hindawi.org/kalimat/82483074/

  • สฤณี อาชวานันทกุล
    2018-12-26 03:37

    อ่านแล้ววางไม่ลงจนกว่าจะจบ นำเสนอแนวคิดของผู้เขียนว่า การเปลี่ยนแปลงวิธีคิดเรื่อง "เกียรติ" (honor) ให้สอดคล้องกับมุมมองด้านศีลธรรมของสังคม (ซึ่งก็ไม่หยุดนิ่ง) เป็นปัจจัยที่ขาดไม่ได้ใน "การปฏิวัติทางศีลธรรม" (moral revolution) ในประวัติศาสตร์โลกทุกครั้งตั้งแต่อดีตจนถึงปัจจุบัน Appiah นำเสนอแนวคิดผ่านตัวอย่าง moral revolution ของจริง (คือคนทั้งสังคมลด-ละ-เลิกพฤติกรรมอะไรบางอย่างที่อยู่ยั้งยืนยงมาหลายร้อยปี ภายในช่วงเวลาไม่ถึงหนึ่งชั่วอายุคน) สามเรื่อง - กรณีการล้มเลิกประเพณีดวลปืน (duel) ซึ่งใช้ตัดสินข้อพิพาทระหว่างชนชั้นสูงในอังกฤษ กรณีสังคมจีนเลิกประเพณีให้ผู้หญิงรัดเท้า และกรณีผู้ใช้แรงงานในอังกฤษสนับสนุนขบวนการเคลื่อนไหวเรียกร้องให้อังกฤษเลิกทาสทุกกรณีข้างต้นผู้เขียนชี้ว่า ข้อถกเถียงทางศีลธรรมว่าทำไมถึงควรยกเลิกธรรมเนียมเหล่านี้มีมานานแล้ว เช่น เป็นที่รู้กันมาช้านานว่าการดวลปืนสมัยก่อนนั้นอันตราย และปืนก็ไม่เที่ยง, การรัดเท้าทำให้ผู้หญิงเจ็บปวดทรมานมาก, การใช้แรงงานทาสเป็นการกดขี่อย่างทารุณโหดร้าย ฯลฯ แต่ธรรมเนียมเหล่านีก็อยู่มานานหลายร้อยปี แสดงว่าสังคมไม่ได้ "เปลี่ยนใจ" ด้วยเหตุผลทางศีลธรรม แต่เปลี่ยนใจเพราะแนวคิดว่าด้วย "เกียรติ" ในสังคมเปลี่ยนแปลงไป ยกตัวอย่างเช่น สมัยก่อนครอบครัวจีนรัดเท้าผู้หญิงเป็นการ "รักษาเกียรติ" (และเป็นหน้าเป็นตา) ของตระกูล แต่เมื่อจีนเริ่มเปิดประเทศ มีชาวต่างชาติเข้ามาค้าขาย จอหงวนจีนอยากให้จีนได้รับการยอมรับจากสากล "เกียรติของประเทศ" ในแง่ของการไม่มีประเพณีป่าเถื่อนอย่างการรัดเท้า ก็กลายมาเป็นเรื่องสำคัญกว่า "เกียรติของวงษ์ตระกูล" ที่แสดงออกผ่านการรัดเท้าลูกผู้หญิง ส่วนกรณีเลิกทาสในอังกฤษ การที่ชาวอังกฤษผิวขาวผู้ใช้แรงงานหลายล้านคนออกมาร่วมเรียกร้องให้รัฐบาลเลิกทาส ทั้งๆ ที่ทาสเป็นคนผิวดำ ส่วนหนึ่งเป็นเพราะความตื่นตัวและตระหนัก (ที่มาพร้อมกับสื่อสมัยใหม่ เทคโนโลยีการสื่อสารที่แพร่หลาย ฯลฯ) ของผู้ใช้แรงงานผิวขาวว่า ทาสผิวดำ "เหมือน" กับตัวเองตรงที่เป็นผู้ใช้แรงงานเหมือนกัน ฉะนั้นการที่ทาสถูกกดขี่ ก็เท่ากับเป็นการ "หลู่เกียรติ" ของผู้ใช้แรงงานทั่วโลกไม่ว่าจะผิวสีอะไรก็ตามAppiah อธิบายด้วยภาษาที่สละสลวยและจำแนกคำอย่างชัดเจน แยกแยะระหว่างเกียรติแบบ "ความอยากให้คนอื่นยอมรับในศักดิ์ศรีความเป็นมนุษย์" ซึ่งทุกคนมีเหมือนๆ กัน (respect of human dignity) กับเกียรติแบบ "อยากให้คนอื่นยอมรับว่าเรามีค่าควรแก่การยอมรับ" (คือทำตัวคู่ควรกับเกียรติที่ได้รับ - being worthy of respect) เขาเสนอว่าในสังคมสมัยใหม่นั้นเราให้คุณค่ากับเกียรติแบบแรก คือการยอมรับในศักดิ์ศรีความเป็นมนุษย์ มากขึ้นเรื่อยๆ ฉะนั้นการเคลื่อนไหวเรียกร้องให้สังคมเปลี่ยนแปลง ผลักดัน moral revolution เพื่อล้มเลิกธรรมเนียมเกี่ยวกับเกียรติที่เรามองว่าขัดต่อศีลธรรมสากล เช่น ประเพณีการฆ่าผู้หญิงที่ถูกข่มขืน เพื่อ "ฟื้นฟูเกียรติ" ของครอบครัวที่ถูกลบหลู่ (honor killing) ซึ่งยังแพร่หลายในทวีปเอเชียใต้ จึงไม่อาจทำได้ด้วยการละทิ้งหรือไม่สนใจแนวคิดเรื่องเกียรติ แต่ต้องทำด้วยการ "เปลี่ยน" ความคิดของคนส่วนใหญ่เกี่ยวกับเกียรติ ให้สอดคล้องกับคุณค่าทางศีลธรรมที่เราเชื่อมั่นว่าดีเล่มนี้อ่านสนุกและเข้าใจง่ายกว่า Cosmopolitanism หนังสือเล่มก่อนของ Appiah (ซึ่งเล่มนั้นก็สนุกเหมือนกัน แต่รู้สึกว่าเข้าใจยากกว่านี้)

  • Jaylia3
    2019-01-20 04:03

    How do moral revolutions happen? Dueling, foot-binding, slavery and “honor” killings were once considered honorable practices but today most people find them repellent. In THE HONOR CODE Appiah analyzes these four examples to illustrate how traditional beliefs about honor came to be in sharp contrast with evolving views of morality. In each case, arguments against the practices were well known long before they were given up, but knowledge alone wasn't enough. “Honor” killing has not been completely eliminated, but for each of the other practices Appiah details how the development of an expanded, less insular world view or "honor world" changed cultural beliefs and overthrew these long held customs. With this book Appiah is hoping to help spark modern moral revolutions. Appiah talks about what these modern revolutions might be in an excellent September 2010 article in the Washington Post. Just as we look back with horror at slavery and foot binding, people in the future may condemn one or more of our current practices. To determine what might cause our descendants to wonder “What were they thinking?!” Appiah provides three guidelines: first, arguments against the practice have long been in place, second, defenders of the practice cite tradition, human nature or necessity as reasons to continue (How could we grow cotton without slaves?), and third, supporters of the practice engage in strategic ignorance, for instance wearing slave-grown cotton without considering where it comes from. Appiah’s contemporary candidates for moral revolutions include industrial meat production, the current prison system, the institutionalization and isolation of the elderly, and the devastation of the environment.Appiah is a philosophy professor at Princeton and his writing is sometimes a little choppy in a logician’s proof solving style, but the material is well thought out, timely and fascinating.

  • Caroline
    2019-01-06 08:41

    An interesting read. Appiah looks as moral revolutions in two cultures that resulted in societies abandoning practices that had been closely associated with honor: dueling, the slave trade (as in, slaves or peasants were required to do the manual labor that an honorable man would not do), and foot binding. He then asks if lessons learned from these transitions can be applied to current social problems associated with ‘honor’, such as honor killings in Pashtun culture.I don’t think the attempt to paste English and Chinese experience on the Pashtun situation works, because I’m not sure that the external shame that led to change in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in those two cultures has any currency in the pashtunwali pockets where sex outside marriage, whether consensual or rape, calls for murder of the woman. Appiah cites examples of occasional women standing up for their rights in this world, but his acknowledgement of the condemnation by reactionary authorities isn’t encouraging. Since I was reading it with exactly this situation in mind, I came away more depressed than I started.

  • Kim Stallwood
    2018-12-24 02:45

    The Honor Code came to my attention as a book that was highly recommended by a friend and colleague whose opinion I respect. I looked forward to reading it. It sounded intriguing. And I carefully read it. The premise is this: We can understand, as its subtitle states, ’how moral revolutions happen' by looking at four chapters in human history, and conclude as the back cover blurb fizzes, ‘have not been driven by legislation from above, but by a long-neglected engine of reform: honor.’ What’s not to like? As someone who lives and breathes animal rights, and strives to understand how social movements succeed, there was much that I looked forward to learning but, instead, discovered that there is not much to inform and enlighten here. Well, I should say, there is not much to inform and enlighten me here.Frankly, it was disappointing. At times, it shone, but mostly it was dim.Let’s start with honor, which, as you would expect, is discussed extensively in the book. But I came away thinking that there was no there there when it came to honor. Yes, of course, honor, is an important and legitimate emotion and status that manifests itself in various ways. But all the while as I read The Honor Code I could not but help think that what this book was really about was respect. But The Respect Code just does not have the same ring to it. At one point, the author writes in a section that annoyingly I can not now locate, and so I will paraphrase, ‘So, honor, what’s it all about? Why all the fuss?’ Exactly.My disliking this book should not suggest that I have anything against the author, Kwame Anthony Appiah, a distinguished and accomplished professor of philosophy, who I have not met and not read anything else that he has written. Nonetheless, the author relates well the story of four social issues and the place of honor in them. They are the duels that gentlemen in power in English and other societies fought to prove something or another. The patriarchal practice of literally confining Chinese women by cruelly binding their feet so that they could not escape. The campaign by the British working class and others against the trade in slaves. And the ‘honor killing’ in Pakistan today and elsewhere. Honor must definitely was an ingredient in them all. But was it the yeast that made bread rise? Or the flour that give the yeast the place to grow?Methinks it is just too simplistic to say that honor was the common ingredient among them all that did all the heavy lifting. So what was?Well, it has to be a combination of forces and, depending upon which one, different mixes of such things as class struggle, women challenging patriarchy, the power of the ruling class and their control of the less powerful, the stupidity, selfishness and arrogance of men, and the tenacity and stubbornness of some people who 'No!'To say that honor was the common agent of change among these four struggles or, indeed, any other is naive, apolitical and quite simply wrong. And, so, what of my friend who made the book's recommendation? His opinions I will continue to respect. I still consider it an honor to know him. But as for any future reading recommendations, well, let us just say that the code among friends will prevail.

  • Elliot Ratzman
    2018-12-30 06:51

    There are two things that I love about this book. First, Appiah brings together excellent case studies of “moral revolutions”—the decline of dueling in England, the anti-footbinding campaigns in China, the abolition of the slave trade in England—historical phenomena when attitudes and practices changed for clear reasons through campaigns of shaming and ridicule. Second, I love that a philosopher focuses on historical examples of past changes in order to speculate about how future changes could occur. This gets us away from thinking that social change is about “new ideas” or “better arguments” and more about material forces like social pressure, newspapers, and Appiah’s unifying theme—Honor. Though Honor and Recognition are the common notes in his examples—and issues of anti-woman violence as enduring problems—I am less convinced by his specific prescriptions and more excited about how ethicists can use History to reflect on changing conditions and the logistics of organized movements.

  • royaevereads
    2019-01-09 05:38

    This was a really interesting book. It's the first time I've read a book that discusses a philosophical idea using historical examples to back it up. The history itself was so intriguing - duelling, foot-binding, slavery and honor killings - that it's reignited in me the excitement to pick up more non fiction history books on a whole range of topics. The idea discussed, that honor can spark moral revolutions, was an interesting one. It made me think about how important honor is (or at least, how important it should be) for the betterment of humanity. Although obviously it can also be used to our own detriment if looked at the wrong way. Appiah explains these things fully (I can't, just read the book if you don't understand what I'm on about haha). I don't know that I'm entirely convinced by his theory but I do now believe that honor is often at least somewhat of an influence when it comes to moral revolutions.

  • Mari Sanfon
    2019-01-15 02:45

    რადარამის გამოცემულ წიგნებში ეს და being wrong არის საუკეთესო ^_^''2001 და 2002 წლებში ამირ ჰ. ჯაფრიმ, კომუნიკაციების კვლევების პაკისტანელმა დოქტორანტმა, სამშობლოში ჩაწერა რამდენიმე ინტერვიუ ღირსების სახელით მომხდარ ქალთა მკვლელობების შესახებ. ერთ-ერთი ასეთი ინტერვიუ მან ისლამაბადის მეჩეთის მოლასგან აიღო. თავდაპირველად, მოწაფეებით გარშემორტყმულმა რელიგიურმა მოძღვარმა აღიარა,რომ როდესაც ხედავს ქალებს, რომლებსაც თავშლით სახე მთლიანად არ აქვთ დაფარული, სურს აკუწოს ისინი ან რომელიმე მამაკაცს მიათხოვოს. როდესაც ჯაფრიმ ჰკითხა მას, რამდენად შეესაბამებოდა ეს ისლამს, მოლა გაწითლდა და დადუმდა. შემდეგ მან მოწაფეებს გადახედა და წაიბურტყუნა: „ისლამი ამის უფლებას არ იძლევა, მაგრამ ზოგჯერ ასე უნდა მოიქცე, რათა სხვებს მაგალითი მისცე.’’

  • Hannah
    2019-01-21 05:58

    This book was not good. While the title might indicate that the book would discuss HOW MORAL REVOLUTIONS HAPPEN, I wouldn't consider this topic to have been broached. Instead, the author gives his perspective of a few instances of social change (the end of dueling, the end of footbinding) that seem disconnected. The lack of a main thesis or really even a full exploration of the topic was disappointing. On top of all of that, the book was either poorly written... or poorly edited... or both - which made it sometimes difficult to follow.

  • Margaret Sankey
    2018-12-25 03:06

    Using three abbreviated case studies, Appiah argues that societies do not abandon English dueling, Chinese footbinding or Atlantic slavery because they realize it is a moral evil in and of itself, but because they are horrified that people they disrespect are now participating in the practice, or people whose respect they want ridicule it. Depressing, but ultimately practical view, although he conveniently ignores the really ugly period in which the society perpetrates the practice in particularly exaggerated form as defiance.

  • Miles
    2019-01-07 10:56

    Of the many paradoxes that bedevil human nature, one of the most intriguing is our tendency to seek out freedom while simultaneously longing for submission. American philosopher Josiah Royce understood this well:"We profoundly want both to rule and to be ruled. We must be each of us at the centre of his own active world, and yet each of us longs to be in harmony with the very outermost heavens that encompass, with the lofty orderliness of their movements, all our restless doings. The stars fascinate us, and yet we also want to keep our own feet upon the our solid human earth. Our fellows, meanwhile, overwhelm us with the might of their customs, and we in turn are inflamed with the naturally unquenchable longing that they should somehow listen to the cries of our every individual desire." (The Philosophy of Loyalty, 59)Royce’s theory of loyalty sought to resolve this tension, and Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen follows in the same tradition. Appiah identifies a critical difference between morality and honor, positing morality as an internal force influencing our decisions about how to act, and honor as the social force that dictates the consequences of those actions.“Honor and morality are separate systems,” Appiah writes. “They can be aligned…[but] can easily pull in opposite directions” (108). When the demands of morality and honor coincide, however, honor can drive moral progress, acting as “an engine, fueled by the dialogue between our self-conceptions and the regard of others, that can drive us to take seriously our responsibilities in a world we share” (179).This dichotomy (moral sphere as internal, honor sphere as external) is far from perfect, but if you can bring yourself to accept it, this will be an informative and engaging read. The Honor Code isn’t particularly well-written, but Appiah’s undue wordiness doesn’t prevent him from adequately supporting his thesis.To demonstrate the role of honor in moral progress, Appiah examines four historical examples of honor practices that were challenged by what he calls “moral revolutions”: Pistol dueling in Britain, footbinding in China, the Transatlantic slave trade, and honor killings in Pakistan. Each topic is relevant, but it’s unclear why Appiah chose to include one contemporary and unresolved example––honor killings––among three others that are firmly in the global past.The reason honor is so important, Appiah claims, is that moral argumentation isn’t an adequate influence in changing behavior:"Arguments against each of these practices were well known and clearly made a good deal before they came to an end. Not only were the arguments already there, they were made in terms that we––in other cultures or other times––can recognize and understand. Whatever happened when these immoral practices ceased, it wasn’t, so it seemed to me, that people were bowled over by new moral arguments…[However], in each of these transitions, something that was naturally called 'honor' played a central role." (xii)This point is bolstered by the findings of modern psychology. People rarely change their opinions or habits when presented with new arguments. The unpleasant truth is that culture and biology usually trump law and logic. Human behavior, therefore, is more sensitive to shifting conceptions of honor than to moral arguments. If we want moral progress, we can’t ignore honor.Although I accept this as an important insight, I’d like to emphasize that while moral arguments may not be sufficient for moral progress, I think they are definitely a necessary ingredient. Myriad factors influence how people change their ideas and actions over time, and moral arguments are not completely ineffectual. This is especially true when the argument takes place in a socially significant context (i.e. I’m more likely to entertain a moral argument from a parent or friend than from a stranger on the bus). To his credit, Appiah points out the limits of argumentation without derision; after all, coming down too harshly on argumentation would be a form of philosophical self-sabotage.In order to enact positive developments in honor codes, and therefore in the behaviors of those who ascribe to such codes, we must look to the social dynamics of pride and shame. One of Appiah’s most interesting findings is that modern forms of collective identity––most notably nationalism––can exert a great influence on moral revolutions."Part of what spurs us to do what our country needs us to do is a pride in country that depends on our thinking 'we' have done great things. It depends, that is, on a sense that we are entitled to national esteem: that we are, in fact, an honorable nation." (97)Nationalism is perhaps the most obvious contemporary form of group identity, but the same dynamic has applied, does apply and will apply to the honor codes of any conceivable human group. This stems from our evolutionary history of tribalism. Every group has a set of norms and consequences (formal or otherwise) for those who violate them. The social nature of honor codes demands a higher level of maintenance than individual morality (i.e. I may feel dubious about satisfying my personal sense of justice if doing so brings shame to my community). In Appiah’s words:"Caring to do right is not the same thing as caring to be worthy of respect; it is the concern for respect that connects living well with our place in a social world. Honor takes integrity public." (179)Since honor “takes integrity public,” it is a potential tool for improving the status of public integrity. The question of exactly how to go about this does not admit an easy answer; solutions will vary according to particular conditions. But there are some general guidelines that will help us “change the grounds of honor, to alter the codes by which it is allocated” (169).For starters, any desirable honor code should be sensitive to matters of human dignity:"What follows from a commitment to human dignity, I think, is that we should take care to avoid creating honor worlds and honor codes that grant so much standing to the successful that they imply a disrespect for the rest of us." (131)The modern crises of inequality (human vs. human, human vs. environment) are fueled by honor codes that reward narrow definitions of success––usually financial wealth, economic clout or political power––above all other goods. When individuals, corporations or governments cite “competition” or “growth” as a justification for ignoring consequences “external” to their particular honor codes, “disrespect for the rest of us” is unavoidable. Indeed, disrespect is just the tip of the iceberg, as the residents of Flint, Michigan well know. Furthermore, these bad actors often get away with thinking they haven’t done anything wrong. Why bother with the headache of moral calculus if you’re living up to your community’s standard of honor?What follows is that altering or expanding definitions of “success” will help us begin to ameliorate and reverse these negative trends. The concept of dignity, as well as other non-quantifiable ways of speaking about human value, will play a key role in this process.If we want honor to contribute to moral progress instead of impeding it, we need to make honorable behavior align with morality wherever possible. This means holding ourselves and members of our communities accountable for immoral behavior, and integrating such judgments with norms that dictate which behaviors are praiseworthy, and which are shameful. It also means taking personally, to a reasonable degree, the negative behavior of others: “It takes a sense of honor to feel implicated by the acts of others” (204).None of this helps us with the thorny question of how to define moral behavior, or how to get along with groups that define morality differently than we do. But The Honor Code does say something important about the problem of human motivation, emphasizing its inescapably social character. Radical individualism stymies the reformation of bad honor codes; no one can harmonize internal impulses with external demands in isolation.By propagating and creating better honor codes, we walk the path toward moral revolution. It may not come easily, but it does happen, as shown by the United States’ recent and swift pivot on the issue of marriage equality. In this case, as in others, “It wasn’t the moral arguments that were new; it was the willingness to live by them” (161).This review was originally published on my blog, words&dirt.

  • Michael
    2019-01-14 03:52

    What it is about: Appiah is an excellent philosopher. This work, in addition to examining honor as a philosophical concept, also examines a great deal of history about three historical instances: English duel, Chinese footbinding, and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. He argues that various changes in honor codes helped bring about those moral revolutions where the moral arguments themselves were unable to do so. He then tries to apply the insights to contemporary honor killing in parts of Pakistan, and he ends with a philosophical discussion of the relationship between honor, respect, and morality. What's good: Since there seems to be a renewed interest in group norms and codes regarding social identities, I was interested in reading the text in order to see if there are parallels between the concept of honor and recent developments in identity politics. I think there are some interesting connections--first, with footbinding and slavery, Appiah argues that there was a collective honor as opposed to dueling which was more personal. I'd like to explore this thought explored in more detail in relation to European and U.S. culture.Second, I appreciate the importance of honor as a form of moral motivation. It seems to function in ways that punishment and monetary rewards connect. It does seem to present society with a host of problems when the latter forms of motivation replace personal honor (or pure moral motivations). Suggestions: I probably should have read Appiah's Cosmopolitanism and the Ethics of Identity first. It seems that a few of the main concepts are further fleshed out there (the different forms of respect). The Ethics of Identity would further help me answer the question that that made me interested in the question about the relationship between social identity in the Western world and honor codes. These texts aren't essential to understand the book, but I am interested in doing so.

  • Katie
    2019-01-06 02:44

    A philosophical examination of the concept of honor and its role in social change. The examples chosen are widely spaced in time and locations: duelling amongst the British aristocracy, foot-binding in Manchu-ruled China, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and honor killing in Pakistan. Appiah's notion is that a shift in what is considered honorable behavior can start what he calls a "moral revolution" when a practice that was once considered necessary to uphold honor is transformed in public perception to be shameful, barbaric or dishonorable. The stories are well researched, well-written and have historical interest; however, in my opinion, the premise is incorrect. Duelling, foot-binding, the slave trade and present-day so-called honor killings have less in common than Appiah seeks to prove. Duelling was a practice to uphold a gentleman's honor, yes, but once it was adopted by persons of lower rank, and put out to public ridicule, it ceased. Foot-binding and honor killings are just two of the many means that men use to subjugate and control women. "Honor" has always been the excuse to blame the victim.Slavery was never a matter of honor; it was a business with an economic motive for every person and group involved. Western came to see it as immoral and unethical because of the harm done to human beings. It has never been honorable to sell quack medicines or tainted food, either - and no purveyor claimed to do that to preserve their personal honor.

  • Erin Siu
    2018-12-30 10:59

    I just completed an assignment for class upon reading and finishing the book The Honor Code by Kwame Anthony Appiah. The Honor Code discusses the definition of honor and how moral revolutions work in the past and present and foreshadows moral revolutions to come in the future. It was an interesting read...a bit repetitive at some parts, but generally eye-opening to many of the issues still happening around the world, such as honor killings. Here is my assignment, relating to the questions of honor and moral codes in Appiah's book. Ever since I’ve moved and settled into the New York City lifestyle, my moral code has been questioned at least once or twice. While exploring the city on the first few days, my friends and I have been catcalled at, approached, touched and yelled at by various men on the streets. Following a general honor code of a human being, we felt it was best to ignore these rude and degrading actions by strangers and keep walking with our heads held high. Additionally, my suitemate and I attended a series of welcome week parties where random guys would grab our waists and attempt to dance with us. Because I am in a long distance relationship, it felt extremely immoral to accept the offer of any guy who wanted to dance, even if they were genuinely kind, interesting and attractive people. I did not think about it at the time, but looking back on those nights, I realized I was following an honor code of a person in a relationship when deciding the right thing to do was to reject those guys. On a larger scale, I realized that “love” is just one of the many reasons why people do not cheat on their significant others. Relating to Appiah’s definition of honor, respect and honor come hand in hand. Respecting your partner is largely significant in any successful relationship; you want to be worthy of that respect, so cheating is not an option.

  • Emily
    2019-01-18 09:53

    This thought-provoking book looks at how the concept of honor inspires people to act, sometimes in ways we find laudable, and other times in ways we abhor. Specifically, the author looks at episodes in history where honor was integral to making radical changes in society in a short period of time, and asks whether we can apply lessons from those moments to contemporary problems like honor killing in Pakistan. His three historical examples are the decline of dueling in nineteenth-century England, the abolition of slavery, and the end of footbinding in China. In each of these three cases, the moral or practical reasons for ending the practice had been clear for some time. Everyone knew that dueling was an arbitrary and stupid way to determine who was telling the truth and that footbinding is painful. He shows how a sense of national or personal honor contributed to societal change. For example, the author asserts that nineteenth-century English workers' increasing sense of dignity in their own role led them to disapprove of slavery because it assigned a lower value to people because of their role as laborers. He suggests that, as China's "honor world" expanded to include the West, footbinding became an embarrassment rather than a source of prestige. I found the overall idea more convincing than the individual examples. (I would actually have preferred if the book were longer and included more historical background on each issue.) This book is most worthwhile because of the way it uses historical examples to clearly explain concepts like the difference between honor and dignity, honor worlds and honor peers, and so forth.

  • الشناوي محمد اسماعيلجبر
    2019-01-10 06:50

    ميثاق الشرف (كيف تحدث الثورات الأخلاقية)كوامي أنطوني أبياه.......................................هذا الكتاب من الكتب النادرة في موضوعها. ولكي أحفزك علي قراءته، فإن هذا الكتاب قد يكون السبب في تغيير أفكارك عن القيم الأخلاقية وخاصة ما يتعلق منها بالشرف، الشرف الذي من أجله ارتكبت الجرائم، وهذه الجرائم ارتكبت للحفاظ علي شرف تغير معناه فيما بعد، وكان التغير في المفاهيم للعكس تماما.في خمس فصول يتحدث الكاتب عن خمس موضوعات، الأول عن المبارزة كواحدة من ممارسات النبلاء التي يحافظون بها علي شرفهم، وكانت تمارس قبل عقود في بلاد أوروبا، لكنها الآن جريمة يعاقب عليها القانون. وفي الفصل الثاني تحدث عن عادة ربط أقدام الإناث في الصين الإمبراطورية القديمة، حيث كانت من علامات الجمال، ومن دلائل شرف المرأة، وقد بطلت هذه العادة البغيضة بعد أن قامت ضدها ثورة وصارت جريمة يقع فاعلها تحت طائلة القانون. وفي الفصل الثالث تحدث عن قضية الرق التي راح ضحيتها ملايين الزنوج في مزارع العالم الجديد، وقد أصبح الاسترقاق جريمة بعد أن كان من علامات الأرستقراطية الاجتماعية. في الفصل الرابع تحدث عن المرأة وما يجري ضدها من حروب باسم الشرف، حيث تقتل المرأة بسهولة ويفلت قاتلها من العقاب إذا كان سبب القتل هو الحفاظ علي الشرف، ويحدث هذا في المجتمعات الإسلامية غالبا. في الفصل الخامس بعنوان دروس وموروثات يتحدث الكاتب بشكل عام عن مستقبل فكرة الشرف، ولماذا تتغير المعاني والمفاهيم، وما هي خطوات التغيير.في هذا الكتاب تعرف فيه كيف تتغير المفاهيم الأخلاقية. كيف تبدأ الثورة علي أخلاق قديمة لإحلال أخلاق جديدة مكانها. بمزيج من التاريخ، والفلسفة، والاجتماع، وبأسلوب أدبي شائق يستمر الكاتب في الحديث عن موضوعه فلا تمل أبدا من المتابعة من قضية لقضية حتى تتفاجأ بأن الكتاب انتهى.كتاب رائع لا تدعه يفوتك.

  • Vincent Li
    2019-01-13 08:40

    Morality is not enough, honor is important in our understanding of ethics and social change. The brilliance of Appiah is his readability, the simplicity of his ideas, and the thought he provokes. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning about the importance of honor in society. In this book, I feel like Appiah takes ethics back from the realm of philosophers back into the everyman's hands. History buffs can learn a thing or two from this book as well. My only complaint is that the book spends very little time on theory building, and devotes most of its content to historical examples. Regardless, to me, this book has convinced me of the importance of honor in ethics and society, which I think is Appiah's main goal here.

  • Saudalfayez
    2019-01-02 08:56

    ميثاق الشرفهذا الكتاب يستعرض ثلاث ظواهر في مجتمعات مختلفة، الصين وبريطانيا وأمريكا ، يتناول هذه الظواهر الغير إنسانية من بداية ظهورها ومن ثم يتناول أثرها على المجتمع وايضاً مدى ظلمها لفئة كبيرة جداً من المجتمعويشتعرض الكاتب كيف تم القضاء على هذه الظواهر، وكيف احساس افراد تلك الشعوب بأن شرف أمتهم ملطخ بالعار بسبب هكذا ممارسات - لم تكن تُمارس حتى في بدائيات التاريخ البشري ربما- أدى لقيام ثورة أخلاقيةمن ثم ينتهي الكاتب باستعراض كيف بأن افراد بعض الشعوب حالياً - باكستان كمثال- ربما يحتاجوا للاحساس بالشرف ومناهضة قمع المرأة هناك ويتناول أكثر من مثالكتاب جميل لا يُمَل

  • Georgy_kovacs
    2018-12-30 02:49

    I am sorely disappointed on this book. Its style is confusing, the author delves way too much into (in my opinion) irrelevant details on the English nobility and other topics. The author could have conveyed the main point of the book in 50 pages or less. At end, his idea on "Moral Revolutions" is nothing more than peer pressure, shame, and changing paradigms. A bit simplistic, I think. Anyway, I doubt I will be reading anything on this author again.

  • Ania
    2019-01-18 08:44

    Overall, this book was okay but there wasn't really any idea that was completely out of this world to me. Also, the evidence that he used to supply his arguments was largely anecdotal so I even disagreed with some of the arguments he was making. The book was written in sections, the first being an introduction to honor codes in general, followed by how dueling and its decline were related to honor, then footbinding and its decline, then the end of Atlantic slavery, the wars on women that continue to this day followed by a general 'lessons learned' section to conclude it. It was very redundant for me to read and I found myself thinking on multiple occasions how much better it would have been if the author had omitted the chapter on dueling entirely and synthesized the book into an essay. I think he had an ambitious premise but the execution was a little messy. Anyway, I will continue my review in sections according to how the book was written.I liked the author's initial explanation of Aristotle's concept of eudamonia in the prologue and I also thought that the concept of honor going beyond simply doing good for others but essentially also doing good for yourself and letting yourself flourish was interesting. I was also pleasantly surprised to see him acknowledge the cognitive dissonance that humans have toward factory farming and the honor involved in relation to the meat and dairy industries and their consumers.The chapter on dueling was frankly just not interesting to me at all and I couldn't care less about its history. I was also getting frustrated by his Malcolm Gladwell-ian way of supporting all of his arguments with largely anecdotal evidence. So yeah, that chapter was mostly skimmed over...The footbinding chapter was more interesting to me because I had never really delved into learning about it so it was interesting to learn the historical background behind the ritual. Again, a lot of what he said in relation to honor was redundant and I felt it could have easily been shortened. He basically just repeated in different words the idea that who you are will shape your standards of dignity which I already knew... Also, just to warn anyone who is queasy easily, you might not want to look up pictures of what footbinding looks like or read "The Pain of Footbinding" section in the book because that grossed me out and I'm not easily queasy. Finally, he mentions sympathy, but confuses its definition with empathy; sympathy is feeling for someone while empathy is feeling the same emotions as someone (e.g. feeling sorry for a homeless person vs. feeling the loneliness and worry that comes along with homelessness and being more willing to help that person).The chapter on Atlantic slaves was again more interesting to me than the first one with a good summary of the history and parallels between it and footbinding, but the conclusion of this chapter was still the same and redundant. It was interesting to read why he thought abolitionism had something to do with honor but I don't entirely agree that the abolition of slavery had nothing to do with self-interest and profitability. He pretty much contradicts himself here by arguing that anti-slavery movements were virtuous when in reality they were propelled by feeling dishonorable. Aside from the historical evidence that does actually exist showing so, a lot of the results of abolitionism that the author argues weakened the British economy would have happened whether or not abolition had occurred because, for example, the migration rate wasn't entirely affected by slavery but merely correlated. There's also plenty of evidence that abolitionists did not believe in racial equality, especially considering Blacks were still considered second-class citizens up until as late as the 70s (and still face racial prejudices today through microaggressions, police brutality, etc.), as well as the whole 'back to Africa' movement. In fact, I don't think enough credit is given to the slaves themselves, who were perhaps the most progressive throughout the movement even if they were themselves enslaved and therefore considered voiceless. Very few abolitionists were actually virtuous. I think people generally have way too much faith in figures like Abraham Lincoln and groups like the Quakers, as Noam Chomsky put, "these great white men" leading a movement, instead of the movement actually having been led by millions of unnamed individuals. Also some sentences literally made no sense like: "Honor figures then, in at least three ways in British abolition."I think the best chapter in this book was the "Wars on Women" chapter and I can't really say I have anything to fault. I again wasn't a fan of the formatting but the content I think was by far the most accurate, probably helped by the fact that the author himself comes from a country known for honor killings.So my final thoughts are that maybe because I was raised in a reasonably stable environment and in arguably one of the most moral countries in the world, the conclusions of this book seem mostly obvious to me and would be more eye-opening to someone who never experienced a different perspective to their own. Aside from learning a bit of history, I'll give him the fact that he made more of an effort to properly cite all of the information than Malcolm Gladwell ever has (that might have also played a part in why I disliked reading this, because it felt like he tried to pack in as many quotes, anecdotes and ideas as he possibly could to support the same redundant argument). So, if you want to know a relatively in-depth history behind these cultural traditions and revolutions, go for it because there is some great information, but if you just want a summary of this book:-Dueling was meant to show how honorable a man was if he won the fight and was reserved for the upper class, subsiding when it started being practiced by the peasants of society;-Footbinding was meant to make the women's feet look like lotuses and make them more beautiful to men, subsiding when China realized other countries were ridiculing the practice;-Slavery was popular not only because of racism but also because it was obviously more 'economic' than paid labor, subsiding because of a mixture of dishonor that white laborers felt having to be compared to black slaves and compete with them, other self-interests and an actual want for racial equality although that was only the thinking of a small minority;-Honor killings still occur and are perhaps the worst practice of all, because illogical people believe that women have the duty to protect themselves against rape and violence, and failing to do so are weak and deserve to be punished (they occur for other reasons against men too but predominantly affect women).

  • Daniel B-G
    2018-12-25 10:58

    An interesting book that looks at the way in which profound social changes happen in societies. It's refreshing to look at morality from once using a practical lens rather than an idealised conceptual model, i.e. how does morality work in the real world, and not an attempt to create a rational model. Ultimately I found the book didn't quite go into enough detail for my liking, however it has made me far more interested in obtaining the author's other book ethics of identity.

  • Hallie
    2019-01-19 03:36

    This book covers a good topic - it really gets you to think about all the different forms there are of "honor" and how it has influenced a lot of changes in history. Unfortunately, the writing is also pretty dry - pretty hard to slog through, despite the great points that it makes.

  • Marinda Gerber
    2019-01-14 05:38

    Did not like this book. It felt more like an academic research paper.

  • Kinsley
    2019-01-22 07:54

    Enjoyable, agreeable, enlightening. Changes how I think about how we make decisions. Uneven, at times belabored. Would have been more persuasive if trimmed down.

  • Emma
    2019-01-12 10:46

    2.5.So I wanted to read more nonfiction this year, and this was… fine. Nothing spectacular, and I think that it worked best when it was telling the narrative and not arguing about honor (which, like, I get was actually the whole point of the book, but, for me, ended up being repetitious and kind of boring.) Personally, the amount that I enjoyed the book kind of vacillated. Some chapters were significantly more interesting than others, for me. The writing was fine, some parts were super boring, some parts super interesting. I'm indifferent, mostly. This book examines three historical (and one current) examples of practices that went out of favor for reasons related to honor. The examples are: dueling in England, foot-binding in China, and Atlantic slave trading. The current example discussed is "honor killings" in Pakistan. A chapter is dedicated to each of these topics and conceptions of honor and its importance are also woven in. IN DEPTH DISCUSSION!!!!!!So, for me, the first and last chapters were kind of interminably boring. They existed a lot more in theory land (as far as I could tell and excepting the last two small stories at the end of the last chapter.) I personally preferred the chapters on foot-binding and honor killings. Foot-binding, because I had a good amount of background knowledge regarding Chinese history of the time, and also it is just a tradition I find super intriguing and also so very separate from how I live my life. Learning the motivations behind why it started (fidelity) and kind of how it spread– it was all just really intriguing. Also interesting, and more heartbreaking (perhaps because it is more current) was the chapter about honor killings. It worked really well and I felt like it worked more in a tangible way than some of the other chapters (and was more powerful, for that reason.) The dueling chapter was probably the least interesting for me. I just really couldn't get into it and basically skimmed close to the entire thing. The one on slavery I think I would have enjoyed more if I hadn't currently been studying it (meaning that it basically felt like homework, which it wasn't, but it felt that way.) Maybe I'll revisit that part of this book another time, but for now it took some effort. (Though the parts about the influence of the Quakers were interesting.) The writing was a little bit bland, and, again, felt a little bit repetitive? Like, there was a lot of rehashing around the specific kinds of honor (or things that didn't exactly qualify as honor, in here.) I understand that this was meant to be a persuasive piece, but I more wanted to be entertained and informed than persuaded? Aaaaaaand that's all I have to say. This took me a long time to read and I skimmed lots of it and just found the majority of it pretty boring. The parts that worked, however, I thought were educational and interesting and well done. So, I don't know, but I'm glad that I read it if only for "hey listen to this thing I kind of understand" kind of value.FFFFIIIIINNNNN!!!!!!!!!!Ehh: 78%

  • Gorfo
    2019-01-17 04:46

    What do honor killing, dueling, chastity, foot-binding & slavery all have in common? Needless to say, I was less than thrilled about reading this book. I received quite an unpleasant surprise, whenThe Honor Code, arrived in the mail (with a letter explaining that it was arequiredsummer reading book). Having charged intoThe Honor Codewith a wholly negative outlook, I found the first few pages taxing, and in fact used them as fuel for sleep. I found the book surprisingly elementary and easy to understand. Although I eventually had to grudgingly admit that Kwame Anthony Appiah does make some informed statements in this book, this does not stop me from observing that his gift for writing is lacking. If you're looking for beautiful prose, don't read this book (perhaps a volume of shakespeare would be in order).Nevertheless this book with its arguments about the importance of honor, had a lot of information to impart. I wouldn't say that it imparted very much wisdom, but of information there was an abundance. Mr. Appiah is the master of the humble brag, andalmostseamlessly incorporates his own vast sea of knowledge into his arguments . This book is an extremely abbreviated, quick, and easy way to understand history of dueling, foot-binding, slavery & honor killing. Unfortunately, Mr. Appiah did not intend to write a brief history of dueling, foot-binding, slavery & honor killing. So what is Mr. Appiah trying to do? In my humble opinion he is attempting to convince the reader of two things: 1. That dueling, foot-binding, slavery & honor killing in some way relate. 2. That society needs to bring back honor. In the first he is surprisingly successful; in the second he flounders. By the end of the book I was utterly convinced that the last thing society needs is the reemergence of honor. Honor is what leads to wars against women. Honor is what leads to the enslavement of whole races. Honor is what leads generations of women to live with broken & bandaged feet. If anything what we need is dignity and justice, a point that Appiah also seems to observe."It takes a sense of your own dignity to insist, against the odds, on your right to justice in a society that rarely offers it"A surprisingly decent read, but I remain unconvinced and wholly skeptical.

  • Matthew
    2018-12-29 09:02

    Brief Summary: Throughout history honor has remained a strong incentive for human action, yet it is rarely ever researched how this honor has affected change in history. Exploring honor through moral revolutions, Appiah defines what honor really means to us as members of the human world. Tsundoku ReviewsThe Tsundoku Scale: Middle of the Pile, 5 out of 10.The Good: The philosophy was a strong, clear, and welcome segment in this book. It’s not on par with ‘if a tree falls and no one is around, does it make a sound?’ kind of thinking but it is still quite thought provoking. Appiah makes some truly interesting points about honor and esteem, individual and group honor, and dignity and morality, that stand out as both significant and relevant. He forces the reader to contemplate honor as an ever changing value that could at one moment in history be an advocate for something as abhorrent as slavery and then in the next moment become one of its strongest dissenters. Further, he successfully manages to separate honor from morality while still keeping honor as something personal and approachable. All the examples in the book, from dueling to slavery and from foot-binding to honor killing, are engaging and full of Appiah’s wry humor and serious declarations.The Bad: Appiah’s problem is that his book tries to make history a part of honor, rather than honor a part of history. The book constantly loses its focus, perhaps most notably when Appiah describes the satirical honor killing in a movie about Sicily and then proceeds to jump to real life by talking about current honor killing in Pakistan. Both the movie and Pakistan were great examples of honor, but their relevancy to each other was forced and awkward. In much the same way, Appiah’s book often feels a disjointed group of examples spanning history in “moral revolutions” that are in no way connected to one another, and seem more a history of convenience than a history of fact.Check out Tsundoku Reviews for more great reviews!

  • Amy
    2019-01-17 04:00

    I read this book on the strong recommendation of someone who is working very hard to create a moral revolution and a new code of honor; the message was compelling enough to seek out this book and see for myself the philosophical underpinnings of this movement.Appiah writes of three historical examples where something was done a certain way, questioned, and eventually overturned as immoral. The custom of dueling collapsed under public scrutiny, Chinese female footbinding became looked on as grotesque when Chinese society opened to some Western influence, and Atlantic slavery underwent moral collapse when industrialized workers could not continue to ignore their enslaved counterparts in the southern US. Appiah then turns to honor killings in Pakistan, which continue today, but under much more scrutiny as social media and the modern world help shape public opinion. Through his historical examination, it is clear that the tide of moral change happens very slowly, with a few brave but influential outliers speaking out and leading their respective societies to change their outlook and shape new behaviors over time. It is very interesting to look at certain events through his lens of honor and see how they hold up; politicians certainly do not turn out well.If you are interested in honor and morality throughout history, or ever wondered why certain reprehensible customs were once widespread but now reviled and embarrassing, Appiah will help you understand exactly what happened, and what is still happening in our modern world as we work to fight injustice-- as well as what work still must happen to change hearts and minds. This is a very important book for anyone wishing to make more than superficial change in the world.

  • Pascale
    2019-01-13 10:49

    I enjoyed reading this elegantly written series of connected essays on the theme of honor but don't feel I learnt a great deal from it. His task is to account for the sudden disappearance of extremely enduring customs (the duel in England, foot-binding in China, the salve trade and, hopefully in the near future, in Muslim countries, the killing of women perceived as defiled by sexual acts often imposed on them rather than freely perpetrated). Why, when there had long been a consensus that these practices were indefensible, did they collapse at the particular point that they did? His answer seems to be that the honor code justifying these abominations came to be redefined under external pressure. In other words, customs seen as epitomizing honor vanished when they came to be seen as shameful. I would have intuited as much without reading the book, and I don't think Appiah makes a particularly rigorous or compelling case. He seems to believe that people in today's world are suspicious of the notion of honor and that he has to argue in favor of its continued necessity as a value in our society. But quite frankly I think he makes this claim in order to have an angle for polemicizing. If this book really does explaine "how moral revolutions happen", as it claims to in its subtitle, I must have missed something.