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The Right Thing

A philosopher misunderstands humanity’s code.

Jan 17, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 17 • By JAMES BOWMAN
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The idea is absurd and absurdly unhistorical, but it does suggest how much of contemporary scholarship is devoted to advocacy of one sort or another of utopian fantasy under the color of social science. If honor really does have its uses​—​and many would argue that it doesn’t​—​we shall remain blind to them so long as we study it not as it was, and is, but as we wish it to be.

James Bowman, the author of Honor: A History and Media Madness, is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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