Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (1):45-60 (2017)

Justin Tiwald
San Francisco State University
As recorded in the Analects, Kongzi (Confucius) held that using punishment to influence ordinary citizens will do little to develop a sense of shame (chi 恥) in them. This term is usually taken to refer to a sense of shame described here as “ autonomous,” understood as a predisposition to feel ashamed when one does something wrong because it seems wrong to oneself, and not because others regard it as wrong or shameful. Historically, Confucian philosophers have thought a great deal about the habits and character traits necessary for someone to have a sense of shame that is truly autonomous. The article looks at their views on this matter and shows how they help to articulate the hypothesis that coercive punishments undermine or work at cross-purposes with the cultivation of an autonomous sense of shame. It then uses this analysis to explicate the proposal that governing people by cultivating a sense of shame is to be preferred to governing by threat of punishment. It concludes by weighing its merits as a view about effective governance, observing that its strength and plausibility depends on whether we take the threat of punishment to be direct or indirect.
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DOI 10.1080/0731129x.2017.1301487
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Citations of this work BETA

Confucianism and Human Rights.Justin Tiwald - 2011 - In Thomas Cushman (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Human Rights. Routledge. pp. 244-254.
The Moral Psychology of Contempt.Michelle Mason (ed.) - 2018 - Rowman & Littlefield International.

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