Shame, Justice, and Decolonization: A Reply to Catherine Lu

  • Michael Blake


This paper discusses two possible difficulties with Catherine Lu’s powerful analysis of the moral response to our shared history of colonial evil; both of these
difficulties stem from the rightful place of shame in that moral response. The first difficulty focuses on efficacy: existing states may be better motivated by shame at
the past than by a shared duty to bring about a just future. The second focuses on equity: it is, at the very least, possible that shame over past misdeeds ought to be
brought into the conversation about present duties, in a manner more robust than Lu’s analysis allows.