Honour (draft of entry for Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

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Given its psychological and sociological importance, especially in non-liberal societies, honor may be the most undertheorized normative phenomenon. Philosophical neglect of honor is due partly to the doubtful moral bona fides of honor: honor-typical motives have been usually viewed by philosophers in both the Christian and liberal West as either non-moral or immoral but replaced by morally sounder ones. More practically, honor (and what is usually translated into the English “honor”) connotes a number of apparently contradictory meanings, further bedeviling analyses. Four particularly salient conceptions of honor emerge in the anthropological, literary, and philosophical literature on honor: honor as prestige, honor as the ethos characteristic of “cultures of honor,” honor as honestas, and honor as agonism.
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