Shame, Legislation, and Subordination

Julien A. Deonna, Raffaele Rodogno and Fabrice Teroni

in In Defense of Shame

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199793532
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199928569 | DOI:
Shame, Legislation, and Subordination

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We consider the role of shame in explaining and/or justifying the regulation of certain practices by means of both legal and social pressure. We begin by focusing on the nature of the connection between shame, and legislation aimed at keeping certain social practices, such as marriage, out of the legal reach of sexually deviant minorities. We then examine the arguments for and against a role for shame in the public debate about issues concerning subordinated groups. We argue that many of the criticisms of shame and its role in the public domain miss their target. As part of a more positive defense of shame, we show that exhorting fellow citizens to moral or civic behavior through shame may, if cautiously done, be desirable.

Keywords: legal pressure; social pressure; marriage; sexual deviants; subordination; moral behavior; civic behavior

Chapter.  9811 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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