How Moral Revolutions Happen
W. W. Norton & Company
On Sale: September 13, 2010
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In this landmark work, a leading philosopher demonstrates
the revolutionary power of honor in ending human suffering.
Long neglected as an engine of reform, honor strikingly
emerges at the center of our modern world in Kwame Anthony
Appiah's The Honor Code. Over the last few centuries, new
democratic movements have led to the emancipation of women,
slaves, and the oppressed. But what drove these modern
changes, Appiah argues, was not imposing legislation from
above, but harnessing the ancient power of honor from
within. In gripping detail, he explores the end of the duel
in aristocratic England, the tumultuous struggles over
footbinding in nineteenth-century China, and the uprising of
ordinary people against Atlantic slavery. Finally, he
confronts the horrors of "honor killing" in contemporary
Pakistan, where rape victims are murdered by their
relatives. He argues that honor, used to justify the
practice, can also be the most effective weapon against it.
Intertwining philosophy and historical narrative, Appiah has
created a remarkably dramatic work, which demonstrates that
honor is the driving force in the struggle against man's
inhumanity to man.
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