Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no
Retirement is the withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from one's active working life. A person may semi-retire by reducing work hours. An increasing number of individuals are choosing to put off this point of total retirement, by selecting to exist in the emerging state of pre-tirement. Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when bodily conditions no longer allow the person to work any longer or as a result of legislation concerning their position. In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Low life expectancy and the absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death. Germany was the first country to introduce retirement benefits in 1889. Nowadays, most developed countries have systems to provide pensions on retirement in old age, which may be sponsored by employers or the state.
In many poorer countries, support for the old is still provided through the family. Today, retirement with a pension is considered a right of the worker in many societies, hard ideological, social and political battles have been fought over whether this is a right. In many western countries this right is mentioned in national constitutions. Retirement, or the practice of leaving one's job or ceasing to work after reaching a certain age, has been around since around the 18th century. Prior to the 18th century, humans had an average life expectancy between 40 years. In consequence, only a small percentage of the population reached an age where physical impairments began to be obstacles to working. Countries began to adopt government policies on retirement during the late 19th century and the 20th century, beginning in Germany under Otto von Bismarck. A person may retire. However, a country's tax laws or state old-age pension rules mean that in a given country a certain age is thought of as the "standard" retirement age.
The "standard" retirement age varies from country to country but it is between 50 and 70. In some countries this age is different for males and females, although this has been challenged in some countries, in some countries the ages are being brought into line; the table below shows the variation in eligibility ages for public old-age benefits in the United States and many European countries, according to the OECD. Notes: Parentheses indicate eligibility age for women when different. Sources: Cols. 1–2: OECD Pensions at a Glance, Cols. 3–6: Tabulations from HRS, ELSA and SHARE. Square brackets indicate early retirement for some public employees. 1 In Denmark, early retirement is called efterløn and there are some requirements to be met. Early and normal retirement age depends on the birthday of the person filing for retirement.2 In France, the retirement age has been extended to 62 and 67 over the next eight years.3 In Latvia, the retirement age depends on the birthday of the person filing for retirement.4 In Spain, the retirement age will be extended to 63 and 67 this increase will be progressively done from 2013 to 2027 at a rate of 1 month during the first 6 years and 2 months during the other 9.
In the United States, while the normal retirement age for Social Security, or Old Age Survivors Insurance has been age 65 to receive unreduced benefits, it is increasing to age 67. For those turning 65 in 2008, full benefits will be payable beginning at age 66. Public servants are not covered by Social Security but have their own pension programs. Police officers in the United States are allowed to retire at half pay after only 20 years of service or three-quarter pay after 30 years, allowing people to retire in their early forties or fifties. Military members of the US Armed Forces may elect to retire after 20 years of active duty, their retirement pay is calculated on total number of years on active duty, their final pay grade and the retirement system in place when they entered service. Allowances such as housing and subsistence are not used to calculate a member's retired pay. Members awarded the Medal of Honor qualify for a separate stipend, regardless of the years of service. Military members in the reserve and US National Guard have their retirement based on a point system.
Recent advances in data collection have vastly improved our ability to understand important relationships between retirement and factors such as health, employment characteristics and family dynamics, among others. The most prominent study for examining retirement behavior in the United States is the ongoing Health and Retirement Study, first fielded in 1992; the HRS is a nationally representative longitudinal survey of adults in the U. S. ages 51+, conducted every two years, contains a wealth of information on such topics as labor force participation, financial variables, family characteristics and a host of other topics.2002 and 2004 saw the introductions of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the Survey of Health and Retirement in Europe, which includes respondents from 14 continental European countri
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church in a military capacity. In Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. A knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings; the lords trusted the knights. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was linked with horsemanship from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century; this linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry and related terms. The special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Muslim world, the Greek hippeis and Roman eques of classical antiquity.
In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his Round Table. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav; each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system for service to the Church or country.
The modern female equivalent in the United Kingdom is Dame. The word knight, from Old English cniht, is a cognate of the German word Knecht; this meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages. Middle High German had the phrase guoter kneht, which meant knight; the meaning of cniht changed over time from its original meaning of "boy" to "household retainer". Ælfric's homily of St. Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht. While cnihtas might have fought alongside their lords, their role as household servants features more prominently in the Anglo-Saxon texts. In several Anglo-Saxon wills cnihtas are left either money or lands. In his will, King Æthelstan leaves his cniht, eight hides of land. A rādcniht, "riding-servant", was a servant on horseback. A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100; the specific military sense of a knight as a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War.
The verb "to knight" appears around 1300. An Equestrian was a member of the second highest social class in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire; this class is translated as "knight". In the Roman Empire, the classical Latin word for horse, was replaced in common parlance by the vulgar Latin caballus, sometimes thought to derive from Gaulish caballos. From caballus arose terms in the various Romance languages cognate with the English cavalier: Italian cavaliere, Spanish caballero, French chevalier, Portuguese cavaleiro, Romanian cavaler; the Germanic languages have terms cognate with the English rider: German Ritter, Dutch and Scandinavian ridder. These words are derived from Germanic rīdan, "to ride", in turn derived from the Proto-Indo-European root reidh-. In ancient Rome there was a knightly class Ordo Equestris; some portions of the armies of Germanic peoples who occupied Europe from the 3rd century AD onward had been mounted, some armies, such as those of the Ostrogoths, were cavalry.
However, it was the Franks who fielded armies composed of large masses of infantry, with an infantry elite, the comitatus, which rode to battle on horseback rather than marching on foot. When the armies of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad Arab invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Frankish forces were still infantry armies, with elites riding to battle but dismounting to fight. In the Early Medieval period any well-equipped horseman could be described as a knight, or miles in Latin; the first knights appeared during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Age progressed, the Franks were on the attack, larger numbers of warriors took to their horses to ride with the Emperor in his wide-ranging campaigns of conquest. At about this time the Franks remained on horseback to fight on the battlefield as true cavalry rather than mounted in
An honorific is a title that conveys esteem or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honorific" is used in a more specific sense to refer to an honorary academic title, it is often conflated with systems of honorific speech in linguistics, which are grammatical or morphological ways of encoding the relative social status of speakers. Honorifics are used as a style in the grammatical third person, as a form of address in the second person. Use in the first person, by the honored dignitary, is uncommon or considered rude and egotistical; some languages have anti-honorific first person forms whose effect is to enhance the relative honor accorded to the person addressed. The most common honorifics in modern English are placed before a person's name. Honorifics which can be used include, in the case of a man, "Mr", in the case of a woman the honorific may depend on her marital status: if she is unmarried, it is "Miss", if she has been married it is "Mrs", if her marital status is unknown, or it is not desired to specify it, "Ms".
The honorific "Mstr" may be used for a boy who has not yet entered society. Someone who does not want to express a gender with their honorific may use Mx, Ind. or Misc.. In the U. S. these terms are styled with a period because they were abbreviations. "Ms." is styled with a period for consistency. In Great Britain, periods are not used. Other honorifics may denote the honored person's occupation, for instance "Doctor", "Esquire", "Captain", "Coach", "Officer", "The Reverend" for all clergy or "Father", "Rabbi" for Jewish clergy, or Professor. Holders of an academic Doctorate such as PhD are addressed as "Doctor". "Master" as a prefix ahead of the name of boys and young men up to about 16 years of age is less common than it used to be, but is still used by older people addressing the young in formal situations and correspondence. Some honorifics act as complete replacements for a name, as "Sir" or "Ma'am", or "Your Honor". Subordinates will use honorifics as punctuation before asking a superior a question or after responding to an order: "Yes, sir" or "Sir, sir."
Judges are addressed as "Your Honor" when on the bench, the style is "His/Her Honor" the plural form is "Your Honors". If the judge has a higher title, that may be the correct honorific to use, for example, in Britain: "Your Lordship". Members of the U. S. Supreme Court are addressed as "Justice". A monarch and his/her consort may be addressed or referred to as "Your/His/Her Majesty", "Their Majesties", etc.. Monarchs below kingly rank are addressed as "Your/His/Her Highness", the exact rank being indicated by an appropriate modifier, e.g. "His Serene Highness" for a member of a princely dynasty, or "Her Grand Ducal Highness" for a member of a family that reigns over a grand duchy. Verbs with these honorifics as subject are conjugated in the third person Protocol for monarchs and aristocrats can be complex, with no general rule. There are differences between "Your Highness" and "Your Royal Highness". All of these apply to people of subtly different rank. An example of a non-obvious style is "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother", an official style, but unique to one person.
In music, a distinguished conductor or virtuoso instrumentalist may be known as "Maestro". In aviation, pilots in command of a larger civil aircraft are addressed as "Captain" plus their full name or surname; this tradition is diminishing in the United States and most EU countries. However, many countries in Asia, follow this tradition and address airline pilots, military pilots, flight instructors as "Captain" outside of the professional environment. In addition, such countries' etiquette rules dictate that this title must be placed on all the official letters and social invitations, business cards, identification documents, etc. In the United States, when addressing a pilot, common etiquette does not require the title "Captain" to be printed on official letters or invitations before the addressee's full name. However, this is optional and may be used where appropriate when addressing airline pilots with many years of experience. Occupants of state and political office may be addressed with an honorific.
A monarch may be addressed as His/Her Majesty, a president as Your Excellency or Mr/Madam President, a minister or secretary of state as "Your Excellency" or Mr/Madam Secretary, etc. A prime minister may be addressed as "the Honorable". In the UK, members of the Privy Council are addressed as "the Right Honourable...". A member of Parliament or other legislative body may have particular honorifics. A member of a Senate, for example, may be addressed as "Senator"; the etiquette varies and most countries have protocol specifying the honorifics to be used for its state, judicial and other officeholders. Former military officers are
Counselor of State (Finland)
Counselor of State is a Finnish title of honor awarded by the President of Finland to elder statesmen. It is one of two titles in the highest class of State of Finland honors. A tax on the titles of 48,400 euros or 12,100 euros must be paid by the holder; some former Social Democratic prime ministers such as Rafael Paasio, Kalevi Sorsa and Paavo Lipponen all declined the honor when it was offered to them. Lipponen commented that no one outside Finland knows what Counselor of State is, that he is satisfied with "former Prime Minister"
In philosophy, the matter of personal identity deals with such questions as, "What makes it true that a person at one time is the same thing as a person at another time?" or "What kinds of things are we persons?" Personal identity is the unique numerical identity of a person in the course of time. That is, the necessary and sufficient conditions under which a person at one time and a person at another time can be said to be the same person, persisting through time. In contemporary metaphysics, the matter of personal identity is referred to as the diachronic problem of personal identity; the synchronic problem concerns the question of what features and traits characterize a person at a given time. In continental philosophy and in analytic philosophy, enquiry to the nature of Identity is common. Continental philosophy deals with conceptually maintaining identity when confronted by different philosophic propositions and presuppositions about the world and its nature. One concept of personal persistence over time is to have continuous bodily existence.
However, as the Ship of Theseus problem illustrates for inanimate objects there are difficulties in determining whether one physical body at one time is the same thing as a physical body at another time. With humans, over time our bodies age and grow and gaining matter, over sufficient years will not consist of most of the matter they once consisted of, it is thus problematic to ground persistence of personal identity over time in the continuous existence of our bodies. This approach has its supporters which define humans as a biological organism and asserts the proposition that a psychological relation is not necessary for personal continuity; this personal identity ontology assumes the relational theory of life-sustaining processes instead of bodily continuity. Derek Parfit's teletransportation problem is designed to bring out intuitions about corporeal continuity; this thought experiment discusses cases. The inability to specify where on a spectrum does the transmitted person stop being identical to the initial person on Earth appears to show that having a numerically identical physical body is not the criterion for personal identity In another concept of mind, the set of cognitive faculties are considered to consist of an immaterial substance, separate from and independent of the body.
If a person is identified with their mind, rather than their body—if a person is considered to be their mind—and their mind is such a non-physical substance personal identity over time may be grounded in the persistence of this non-physical substance, despite the continuous change in the substance of the body it is associated with. The mind-body problem concerns the explanation of the relationship, if any, that exists between minds, or mental processes, bodily states or processes. One of the aims of philosophers who work in this area is to explain how a non-material mind can influence a material body and vice versa. However, this is not uncontroversial or unproblematic, adopting it as a solution raises questions. Perceptual experiences depend on stimuli which arrive at various sensory organs from the external world and these stimuli cause changes in mental states. A desire for food, for example, will tend to cause a person to move their body in a manner and in a direction to obtain food; the question is how it can be possible for conscious experiences to arise out of an organ possessing electrochemical properties.
A related problem is to explain how propositional attitudes can cause neurons of the brain to fire and muscles to contract in the correct manner. These comprise some of the puzzles that have confronted epistemologists and philosophers of mind from at least the time of René Descartes. John Locke considered personal identity to be founded on consciousness, not on the substance of either the soul or the body. Book II Chapter XXVII entitled "On Identity and Diversity" in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding has been said to be one of the first modern conceptualizations of consciousness as the repeated self-identification of oneself. Through this identification, moral responsibility could be attributed to the subject and punishment and guilt could be justified, as critics such as Nietzsche would point out. According to Locke, personal identity "depends on consciousness, not on substance" nor on the soul. We are the same person to the extent that we are conscious of the past and future thoughts and actions in the same way as we are conscious of present thoughts and actions.
If consciousness is this "thought" which "goes along with the substance which makes the same person" personal identity is only founded on the repeated act of consciousness: "This may show us wherein personal identity consists: not in the identity of substance, but in the identity of consciousness". For example, one may claim to be a reincarnation of Plato. However, one would be the same person as Plato only if one had the same consciousness of Plato's thoughts and actions that he himself did. Therefore, self-identity is not based on the soul. One soul may have various personalities. Neither is self-identity founded on the body substance, argues Locke, as the body may change while the person remains the same; the identity of animals is not founded on their body: "animal identity is preserved in identity of life, not of substance", as the body of the animal grows and changes during its life. On the other hand, identity of humans is based on their consciousness, but this interesting border-case leads to this problematic thought that since persona
An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, a dissertation, the passing of comprehensive examinations. It is known by the Latin phrases honoris causa or ad honorem; the degree is a doctorate or, less a master's degree, may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous postsecondary education. An example of identifying a recipient of this award is as follows: Doctorate in Business Administration; the degree is conferred as a way of honouring a distinguished visitor's contributions to a specific field or to society in general. It is sometimes recommended that such degrees be listed in one's curriculum vitae as an award, not in the education section. With regard to the use of this honorific, the policies of institutions of higher education ask that recipients "refrain from adopting the misleading title" and that a recipient of an honorary doctorate should restrict the use of the title "Dr" before their name to any engagement with the institution of higher education in question and not within the broader community.
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh held the record for most honorary degrees, having been awarded 150 during his lifetime; the practice dates back to the Middle Ages, when for various reasons a university might be persuaded, or otherwise see fit, to grant exemption from some or all of the usual statutory requirements for the awarding of a degree. The earliest honorary degree on record was awarded to Lionel Woodville in the late 1470s by the University of Oxford, he became Bishop of Salisbury. In the latter part of the 16th century, the granting of honorary degrees became quite common on the occasion of royal visits to Oxford or Cambridge. On the visit of James I to Oxford in 1605, for example, forty-three members of his retinue received the degree of Master of Arts, the Register of Convocation explicitly states that these were full degrees, carrying the usual privileges. Honorary degrees are awarded at regular graduation ceremonies, at which the recipients are invited to make a speech of acceptance before the assembled faculty and graduates – an event which forms the highlight of the ceremony.
Universities nominate several persons each year for honorary degrees. Those who are nominated are not told until a formal approval and invitation are made; the term honorary degree is a slight misnomer: honoris causa degrees are not considered of the same standing as substantive degrees earned by the standard academic processes of courses and original research, except where the recipient has demonstrated an appropriate level of academic scholarship that would ordinarily qualify him or her for the award of a substantive degree. Recipients of honorary degrees wear the same academic dress as recipients of substantive degrees, although there are a few exceptions: honorary graduands at the University of Cambridge wear the appropriate full-dress gown but not the hood, those at the University of St Andrews wear a black cassock instead of the usual full-dress gown. An ad eundem or jure officii degree is sometimes considered honorary, although they are only conferred on an individual who has achieved a comparable qualification at another university or by attaining an office requiring the appropriate level of scholarship.
Under certain circumstances, a degree may be conferred on an individual for both the nature of the office they hold and the completion of a dissertation. The "dissertation et jure dignitatis" is considered to be a full academic degree. See below. Although higher doctorates such as DSc, DLitt, etc. are awarded honoris causa, in many countries it is possible formally to earn such a degree. This involves the submission of a portfolio of peer-refereed research undertaken over a number of years, which has made a substantial contribution to the academic field in question; the university will appoint a panel of examiners who will consider the case and prepare a report recommending whether or not the degree be awarded. The applicant must have some strong formal connection with the university in question, for example full-time academic staff, or graduates of several years' standing; some universities, seeking to differentiate between substantive and honorary doctorates, have a degree, used for these purposes, with the other higher doctorates reserved for formally examined academic scholarship.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has the authority to award degrees. These "Lambeth degrees" are sometimes, thought to be honorary. Between the two extremes of honoring celebrities and formally assessing a portfolio of research, some universities use honorary degrees to recognize achievements of intellectual rigor; some institutes of higher education do not confer honorary degrees as a matter of policy — see below. Some learned societies award honorary fellowships in the same way as