Kwame Anthony Appiah’s much-anticipated book on honor and moral change was recently published by W.W. Norton. The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen is a study of how unethical practices only truly cease when they conflict with honor, not in response to appeals to reason, morality, and religion. The book concentrates on four main issues, including the duel in aristocratic England, foot-binding in nineteenth-century China, slavery in early America, and current-day “honor killings” in Pakistan. Dwight Garner of the New York Times gave The Honor Code a glowing review, noting, “Mr. Appiah brings, to the tidy feast that is his book, a carving knife sharp enough to slice tangled issues of social class thinly.”
Anthony Appiah is the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.