The Philosophy Behind Honor

The convocation brought up a lot of issues for me about interventionism, and both the positives and negatives surrounding the topic. Overall, I felt like he tried to fit too many concepts into 70 minutes and just mentioning problems without really guiding us to a logical solution. There is merit to addressing specific issues, but there were just so many problems brought to our attention, and I felt like he was only halfway finished at the end of 70 minutes.

ANYWAY, as I was listening to his speech, I was struck by the excessive use of 'honor' without really defining what it is, and I think the same problem extends to the honor code here at Lawrence. What exactly does "The Honor Code" entail? We have this basic sense of conditions drilled into our head: don't cheat, don't lie, don't steal material from the internet, return lost items around campus. The general idea is follow the moral code of a virtuous person. Appiah's idea of honor is similar, except that he uses this sense of honor to judge the activities of non-Western nations, who potentially have a very different sense of which actions are honorable. The rightness and wrongness of those 'honorable' actions cannot actually be judged, by either the people who do the action, nor the people who perceive it to be harmful.

In light of this fact, how do we reach any conclusion?


  1. I felt similar to his convocation. I thought his ending was abrupt and sort of left me with a "ok...what now?" feel.


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