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The Meaning of Honor
for Honors Students and
Programs
Dr. Nancy Stanlick
UCF Department of Philosophy
Burnett Honors College Family Weekend
October 20, 2007
Ethical Theories
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Purpose of Teaching/Taking an Ethics
Course
Some Major Elements/Theories
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Utilitarianism
Deontology
Contract Theory
Virtue Ethics
The Full Meaning of Honor?
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High Achievement
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Promise of Continued Achievement
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Sufficient for entrance
To be worthy of honor
An Active Moral Notion
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Getting and Giving
Appearance and Reality
Passing and Passing
Community Membership
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Acceptance and Membership
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Benefits and Obligations
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What Kind of Community?
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Personal and intellectual excellence
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Create, sustain community
The UCF Creed
Honors College Honor Code
What Kind of Person?

Academic and Moral Exemplar
Burnett Honors College
Honor Code
As a member of The Burnett Honors College I pledge to uphold the
following academic and ethical standards:
To strive for the highest levels of performance in all scholarly endeavors
and to do so with the enthusiasm that stems from a true love of
learning and a devotion to academic excellence
To demonstrate self-discipline, commitment, and responsibility in fulfilling
my obligations as a member of the academic community
To show thoughtfulness, understanding, and empathy toward my peers,
and to offer encouragement as they pursue their intellectual goals
To be respectful of, and attentive toward those who teach and mentor,
while cherishing the ideal that academic excellence is best served where
scholarly debate flourishes
To honor the traditional rules of conduct that guide the achievements of a
scholar including contempt for plagiarism, cheating, falsification, or any
activity that threatens academic integrity and honesty.
The UCF Creed
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Integrity, scholarship, community, creativity, and excellence are the
core values that guide our conduct, performance, and decisions.
Integrity
I will practice and defend academic and personal honesty.
Scholarship
I will cherish and honor learning as a fundamental purpose of my
membership in the UCF community.
Community
I will promote an open and supportive campus environment by
respecting the rights and contributions of every individual.
Creativity
I will use my talents to enrich the human experience.
Excellence
I will strive toward the highest standards of performance in any
endeavor I undertake.
What IS the Honor Code?
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Is it a list of external, imposed rules with
attendant punishments for infractions?
OR
Is it a way of academic, personal, and
professional life?
How do these possibilities relate to
theoretical views of academic integrity?
“Honor” Expanded

Two Meanings
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An Example:
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Descriptive – high status
Prescriptive – moral approval
Citizen and Visitor
Citizen Voter
Aristotle and the Severed Hand
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Homonomous meaning
Personal and Civic Friendship
in Community

Aristotle on Friendship
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A Limitation of this View
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Hundreds of People, Anonymity
Overcoming the Limitation
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Utility, Pleasure, Virtue
Part of a Community
A common Purpose, Goal
Shared Characteristics
To BE a Member of the Community
Concluding Thoughts
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The honors student is not honored or
“honorable” simply for academic
attainment. Honor, more completely
understood, is granted by others, and
warranted within oneself, as recognition
of a way of living or being that
maintains one’s status as a member of
an honors community.
Conclusion Continued

Honors colleges and their students are
uniquely capable of creating and
maintaining academic communities of
honor and integrity because they are
persons of personal and academic
excellence.
Conclusion Continued

A community of honor is constituted by
people who understand their
relationships with each other to be
exemplifications of Aristotelian virtue
and civil friendship. To be an honors
student is more than a description. An
honors student is a moral exemplar in
the academic community.
References
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Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books IIII, VIII-IX.
Nancy A. Stanlick, “Creating an Honors
Community: A Virtue Ethics Approach,”
Journal of the National Collegiate
Honors Council, Spring/Summer 2006
(7, 1): 75-92.