Mar 12, 2023
Honour calls a person to defend their teammates, support their family, and have self-respect. To heed the call of honour, say those who listen, leads us towards a good life. Yet, honour does not bear the marks of modern liberal morality. Honour does not focus on the universal but the particular, nor does it claim impartiality. Rather, honour is deeply personal and emotional.
For some, the call of honour is like that of the sirens of Greek mythology: causing the illusion of what is good. In reality, pursuing that good causes us to crash on the rocks of family feuds, cycles of violence, and the subjection of women. But is this really the full story? Must a culture of honour result in revenge and injustice? And is modern liberal morality fit to play the role many thinkers wish it to?
In this interview, we’ll be speaking to Tamler Sommers, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston and host of the Very Bad Wizards podcast. Tamler is the author of several books, including, Relative Justice, A Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the Curtain, and – the focus of our interview – Why Honor Matters.
It is time, according to Sommers, for those who are sceptical or separated from the importance of honour to reassess their relationship with it. To do so raises questions of criminal justice, morality, love, friendship, and personal integrity. In short, honour can be a great motivator across almost all areas of human life, says Sommers, and it is time we give it the respect it deserves.
Part I. Everything is Clear
Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion