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- DescriptionIn recent years, most political theorists have agreed that shame shouldn't play any role in democratic politics because it threatens the mutual respect necessary for participation and deliberation. But Christina Tarpolsky argues that t every kind of shame hurts democracy. In fact, she makes a powerful case that there is a form of shame essential to any critical, moderate, and self-reflexive democratic practice. Through a careful study of Plato's Gorgias, Tarpolsky shows that contemporary conceptions of shame are far too narrow. For Plato, three kinds of shame and shaming practices were possible in democracies, and only one of these is similar to the form condemned by contemporary thinkers. Following Plato, Tarpolsky develops an account of a different kind of shame, which she calls respectful shame. This practice involves the painful but beneficial shaming of one's fellow citizens as part of the ongoing process of collective deliberation. And, as Tarpolsky argues, this type of shame is just as important to contemporary democracy as it was to its ancient form. Tarpolsky also challenges the view that the Gorgias inaugurates the problematic oppositions between emotion and reason, and rhetoric and philosophy. Instead, she shows that, for Plato, rationality and emotion belong together, and she argues that political science and democratic theory are impoverished when they relegate the study of emotions such as shame to other disciplines.
- Author BiographyChristina H. Tarnopolsky is assistant professor of political science at McGill University.
- Author(s)Christina H. Tarnopolsky
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication12/04/2010
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Content Note5 tables.
- Weight457 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine25 mm
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