The role of honor in political and moral philosophy was already the topic of my dissertation (written in Dutch), and since then I have returned to the subject in several articles, book chapters, and papers, yet, the idea for writing this book on honor did not occur to me until working on Military Ethics and Virtues: An Interdisciplinary Approach for the 21st Century, which was published by Routledge in 2010. The purpose of that work was to bring scholarly discussions about some specific virtues to the current debate in military ethics on military virtues. As a result, it discussed a number of virtues, such as honor, courage, and loyalty, which do not always get a lot of attention nowadays, but are still relevant, also outside the military. Yet, looking back, honor was the underlying theme of most of the chapters, and working on that book made me realize once more that some of the old arguments for honor, brought forward by thinkers from Cicero and Sallust to Bentham and Mill, are still compelling. The aim of this book is to convince the reader of the same.
Some parts of this book draw on the just mentioned Military Ethics and Virtues, and I am grateful that Routledge permitted me to reuse some material. All the older material has been rewritten, updated, and expanded. I am also very much indebted to Twan Hendricks, Daniel Demetriou, and the two anonymous reviewers of SUNY Press for their useful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. Many thanks also to Michael Rinella at SUNY Press and Diane Ganeles, Anne M. Valentine, and Lori Cavanaugh for their support during the publication process. Finally, I would like to thank the Netherlands Defence Academy for the collegial support while writing this book.
Preface and Acknowledgments vii
1. Honor as a Social Motive 15
2. Democratic Honor and the Quiet Virtues 32
3. Defining the Honor Group: Loyalty and Distance 73
4. Internalizing Honor: Integrity 105
5. Denying Honor: Respect and Humiliation 133