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By Frank Henderson Stewart

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For the differences of opinion about what honor is do not merely relate to what entitles one to honor, as, for instance, if on e person maintains that high rank brings honor, and the other denies it, while still admitting tha t the nature of honor is such that in principle high rank could bring honor. Rath er, th ese ideologi cally conditioned differences can relate to the que stion of wha t kind of thing honor is. In the indi vidualistic Germany of the late nineteenth century, for instance, honor was again and again defin ed as a personal quality, much like integrity, and one that might well bring a man of honor into conflict with the society around him (Fielding would no doubt have approved ); to the Nazis, however, with their collectivist outlook, such ideas were anathema, and for them honor tended to be a th ing bestowed on the individual by the community (and this is also Jonathan Wild's view).

39 I shall now try to show that this is not so, or at any rate, not entirely so. I suggest that we look on honor as a right , roughly speaking, the right to be treated as having a certain worth. I shall generally refer to it as a right to respect, but this is only a pis aller. 4 0 What honor is a right to is not the same in all cases, and I am unable to offer a precise general characterization. My main concern is to argue that honor is a right rather than that is it is a right to some particular thing.

Some of these beliefs are based on the self-ascription of qu alities that have nothing to do with my honor: I th ink well of myself, for instance, because I am an excellent bridge player. t ! In contrast, the beliefs that I am honest, that I am (if a man), brave, that I am (if a woman) chaste-these are 27. Liepmann 1909, 14: das durch die eigenen Oualitaten und ihreSchatzung beianderen in uns entstehende Gefuhl deseigenen Wertes, das 'E h r g e f u h T. Cf. Liepmann 1906, 228. 28. The converse is perhaps mor e difficult to imagin e, bu t someone could surely say, "I know I've done som e terrible th ings, yet in my heart of hearts 1 don't feel that I'm partic ularly bad," or "I know I'm a pretty wor thless fellow,yet in my heart ofheart s 1feel that I'm just as good as the next man.

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Honor by Frank Henderson Stewart


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