S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Dept. of Political of Political Sciences and International Relations (정치외교학부) Political Science (정치학전공) Theses (Master's Degree_정치학전공)
The Politics of Shame in Plato
플라톤과 부끄러움의 정치학
- 사회과학대학 정치외교학부
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 정치외교학부, 2015. 8. 유홍림.
- This thesis aims to explore the political meaning of shame from Platos conception of shame. Shame is a complex phenomenon composed of emotion, cognition, and sociality. It is also a phenomenon with ambivalent character, for shame can lead a person to interact in a proper manner, while it can also compel a person to withdraw from discussion and social participation. Among the ancient Greek literature that portrays the Greek culture which was especially sensitive to shame, Platos dialogues manifest the political meaning of shame. Plato, utilizing shame as a leitmotif in his dialogues, displays the complex and ambivalent character of shame. Therefore, by reconstructing Platos conception of shame from a comprehensive analysis of the Platonic corpus, this thesis illuminates the political meaning of shame in Plato, and the political implication of shame in our political life.
Based on the two manners that Plato employs to display shame, this study examines Platos dialogues in three stages. Plato, on the one hand, portrays shame as a subject of his characters discussion. On the other hand, he presents shame as a psychological experience of his characters. To reconstruct Platos conception of shame, this thesis first explores the complex nature of shame, which is illustrated in the texts where shame appears as a subject of conversation. Second stage is designed to investigate diverse dramatic manifestations of shame, which are demonstrated in the texts where the characters experience shame. Then, with the analyses from the previous two stages, the third stage is to examine the function of shame in relation to its connection with virtues.
From the analyses, this study finds the following points. First, it is shown in Platos conception of shame that he was aware of its complex and ambivalent character. In the texts where i) the quasi-definition of shame, ii) the location of shame in tripartite soul, and iii) the origin of shame are discussed about by the characters, Platos descriptions illustrate the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of shame. Moreover, the location of shame in the spirited part of the soul explains that the contrasting effects of shame depend on which of the two parts, the rational or the appetitive, shame associates with. Second, through diverse manifestations of shame, Plato shows that shame experience, if properly formed, can bring a certain change in a person. By distinguishing three types of shame according to the three critical factors of shame experience, this study examines the proper condition of shame experience. Third, Platos descriptions of the relationships between shame and the four virtues show that the change shame brings to a person is, in specific, the cultivation of the virtues in oneself.
In conclusion, the political meaning of shame in Plato is that shame functions in civic education as a catalyst for nurturing the civic virtues. Guiding a person to a better way of life by fostering civic virtues, Platos conception of shame plays a significant role in his soul-craft and state-craft. Furthermore, as shame provides a certain kind of practical knowledge, which education by texts cannot cover, Platos conception of shame offers the political implications of shame in our political life, too.