Friday, May 3, 2013

Why Honor Today?

I'm a professor of political science (political philosophy is my specialization) at Kansas State University. For the past ten years, my research has circled around the topic of honor, especially the impact of classical liberal thought on honor as a motivation for doing the right thing. Blogging is something I've wanted to do for quite awhile, because I think it is so important to get ideas out there beyond the walls of universities, and I think this topic is more than relevant to a lot of the problems we face today. But I wanted to make sure that I had enough to say. I think I do now. I've written three scholarly books trying to explore this ground, one specifically on Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, one on Hobbes and honor, and the latest on Locke and Rousseau and honor. I wrote these books to get a firm idea in my mind of how the political philosophy that influenced our own founding and Western liberalism generally had influenced our views on honor. I want to write about what I've found out so far, and also how honor fares in different areas in today's society, including why so many people find it problematic, old fashioned, dangerous, etc. That will involve dealing with topics as diverse as marriage and family, education, economic activity, friendship, etc. My intention is to write once a week, either choosing a different topic or extending an old one, and I'd really like to hear readers' reactions to what I post.

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