Moral Psychology of Confucian Shame
Shame of Shamelessness
Rowman and Littlefield 2017
New Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PhilosophyNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in PsychologyNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books Network June 15, 2017 Carrie Figdor
Shame is a complex social emotion that has a particularly negative valence; in the West it is associated with failure, inappropriateness, dishonor, disgrace. But within the Confucian tradition, there is in addition a distinct, positive variety of moral shame a virtue that, as Bongrae Seok writes, “is not for losers but for self-reflective moral leaders”. In Moral Psychology of Confucian Shame: Shame of Shamelessness (Rowman and Littlefield), Seok draws on textual evidence from Confucius, Mencius, and Xunzi, as well as contemporary moral psychology, anthropology, biology, linguistics, and ancient Greek philosophy, to illuminate one aspect of the rich Confucian tradition in moral psychology. Seok, who is associate professor of philosophy at Alvernia University, explains how moral shame involves the whole self’s sensitivity to moral ideals and supports the Confucian virtues of self-cultivation, self-reflection and learning.