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Motivating Justice

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Abstract

The basic duplicity of the human being, to use Camus’s terminology, lies in our ability to be good citizens, even being capable of supererogatory acts, while all the time indulging in self-pity, self-love, and ultimately self-regarding sentiments.1 Jean-Baptiste Clamence, the antihero of Camus’s The Fall, is the epitome of virtue and hypocrisy. He shamelessly reminds us: ‘too many people now climb on to the cross merely to be seen from a greater distance’ (Camus, 1963, 84). Yet just when the reader feels morally superior to the villain in Camus’s masterpiece, it is he, the villain, who has the last laugh. At the end of the story, the portrait he has painted of himself becomes a mirror, he passes from the ‘I’ to the ‘we’: ‘When I get to “This is what we are”, the game is over’ (Camus, 1963, 103).

Keywords

  • Social Justice
  • Moral Education
  • Moral Virtue
  • Moral Motivation
  • Social Injustice

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

However that may be, after prolonged research on myself, I brought out the basic duplicity of the human being. Then I realized, as a result of delving in my memory, that modesty helped me to shine, humility to conquer, and virtue to oppress. (Albert Camus, The Fall, 62–63)

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© 2012 Vittorio Bufacchi

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Bufacchi, V. (2012). Motivating Justice. In: Social Injustice. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230358447_7

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