A Ku Indeed!

Trying Kids as Adults

Posted in Chinese Philosophy, Course Material, Ethics, Values Analysis by Chris on October 9, 2007

Today in class we were discussing the fact that a virtue ethicist (specifically Confucius) would likely not try a child as an adult, mostly for one key reason: children are not capable of full moral being, given two factors: (a) they do not have settled traits of character that allow them to see and feel the world in terms of ethics and (b) they are not old enough, even if they have such traits, to understand what it is that they are seeing or feeling. Thus, although it’s necessary to have the right training (which kids are in the process of getting, but don’t have as of yet), it’s not sufficient, because the person needs to understand why these dispositions are admirable ones to have.

Strangely enough, Sam Crane has a post up on this today. I do believe that this might be the third time in two weeks that he’s posted on something the same day that I’ve discussed that same subject in my class. So this is a bit odd. Is it ming? Who knows! Well, we’re done with Confucianism for the semester, so I suppose that ends that. In any case, if you’re in my class, be sure to read Sam’s post on the subject of (not) holding children ethically responsible for their deeds.

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3 Responses

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  1. adamqp said, on October 9, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    I’ve always thought it was odd that certain types of crime will get children tried as adults. I could understand it if it happened at places where the was gray area about the difference between adults and children, such as, say, a 17 year old. But the only other argument seems to be that somehow the type of act done somehow would be impossible of mere children. Certain evil is only possible from an adult mind-set, so if someone committed a certain kind of act, it’s de facto evidence that they were an adult. That certainly seems like an odd claim on the face of it, and it becomes spectacularly odd when considering that we’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. So if you haven’t yet provided evidence that someone has committed a crime, how can you argue that the nature of the crime committed implies someone is an adult?

  2. Sam said, on October 10, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t think its ming – I think it’s ch’i…

  3. Chris said, on October 10, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Ch’i it is! Essentially, then, it’s “the force.”


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