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Evening Talk

Honor, Citizenship, and the Law

My general theme is what I will be calling “civic honor.” I want to explore the role of honor, and its negative counterpart, shame, in the civic life of democracies. The account begins with an insight that I learned from the anthropologist Frank Henderson Stewart: Honor is fundamentally about rights to respect. To honor a person is to treat her as entitled to respect. If you recognize yourself as honorable, you will have self-respect, paying yourself the respect that is your due. The character of the respect due, how one displays that respect, and what gains and loses you these rights to respect: all these are culturally variable. But the structure of honor—rights to respect assigned by social norms or conventions, an honor code—is, I think, a human universal. That is why we can talk about honor pretty much everywhere. And why it is available, perhaps surprisingly, to shape our democratic life.
Seminar Room 3-1,
Manasseh Meyer,
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy,
469C Bukit Timah Road,
Singapore 259772
Wed 19 July 2017
05:15 PM - 06:30 PM

Prof. Kwame Anthony Appiah

Prof. Kwame Anthony Appiah

Professor of Philosophy and Law, New York University

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 Prof. Kanti Prasad Bajpai

Prof. Kanti Prasad Bajpai

Director, Centre on Asia and Globalisation and Wilmar Professor on Asian Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

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