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Is "honor" a virtue? Or is it just one of those feel-good words that anyone can use to describe any action they think is praiseworthy? Is the concept a package deal? What is the objective meaning of the concept?

asked Feb 12 '12 at 00:14

ericmaughan43's gravatar image

ericmaughan43 ♦

I believe Ayn Rand said honor was self-esteem in action, or something like that somewhere (I don't remember where, though). I remember thinking I'd have to chew that over in due time to see if I can find out what exactly that implies. Would be cool if someone here can come up with a good explanation!

(Feb 12 '12 at 07:50) FCH FCH's gravatar image

It was in the West Point speech: "self-esteem made visible in action" . I admit it wasn't totally clear to me at the time either.

Typically you hear "honor" in sentences like "you have dishonored your family". Meaning: "you've ruined our reputation."

To "honor" an agreement is to stand by it. So, honoring is an act of integrity.

But I'm with you, FCH. I'd like a better explanation.

(Feb 12 '12 at 12:29) John Paquette ♦ John%20Paquette's gravatar image

"Honor" is somewhat of a package deal, historically. It can refer to integrity, but also, as John Paquette said, to reputation alone. Reputation is not a virtue, but rather an effect that may be a value depending upon one's culture. If a culture is collectivist, mystical, or vicious in other ways -- consider "honor killings" in the Muslim world -- then pursuing the socially approved "honor" in that context is definitely not a virtue.

(Feb 19 '12 at 19:49) Andrew Dalton ♦ Andrew%20Dalton's gravatar image
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As identified by a few of the comments, Honor is self-esteem made visible in action. Binswanger indicates, via the lexicon, that it should also tie in with morality, pride and values.

Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living.

A man of authentic self-esteem is going to have that manifest in the manner which he lives his life, or acts. Honor would be reflected as an integration of the manifestation of honesty, integrity, pride, independence along with other virtues that others would be able to identify, via observations concretized in such things as: "He is a man of his word." and "He treats others as they deserve to be treated.", etc.

Dishonor would have to be the converse, or the observation of a mans actions not being in alignment with the virtues of a rational man.

answered Feb 12 '12 at 13:04

dream_weaver's gravatar image

dream_weaver ♦

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Asked: Feb 12 '12 at 00:14

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Last updated: Feb 19 '12 at 19:49