Origin of reputation: External source and internal source

There are distinctions of internal and external origins or supplies and demands of reputation: the internal source of reputation or the source of pursuit of reputation and the external source of reputation or the source of giving and supplying reputation. The internal source of reputation is the source of pursuit of reputation, is the source of everyone’s pursuit of his own reputation, and is the source of everyone’s own sense of reputation, the sense of seeking fame and the sense of loving of fame. In the final analysis, it is the source of everyone’s pursuit of honor or glory and avoidance of disgrace and condemnation by public opinion. In contrast, the external source of reputation is the source of giving reputation, is the source by which someone gives reputation, i.e., honor or disgrace, to others and others give it to him, and it is the source by which people give reputations, i.e., honor or disgrace, to each other. In the final analysis, it is the source by which society, most people, or leaders give everyone reputations.

External source of reputation

The external source of reputation is that everyone has the moral need of expecting others to be good people, and, especially, that society, most people, and leaders have the moral need of expecting everyone to be a good person. This is because everyone has dual moral needs: he not only has the moralneed of his own conformity with the moral norms, being a moral person and a good person, but also has the moral need of expecting others to conform to the moral norms, being moral people and good people. Try to imagine, who doesn’t want the people around him to be good people and who could want people around him to be evil? Such a case is true even with thieves, who also hope that their accomplices will abide by the code of brotherhood, being good thieves. Hence the common saying: “Even thieves have all their own moral norms.”

That is determined by the profound nature of morality as a social contract. Morality is no doubt a social contract made or agreed by society setting out what everyone’s behaviors ought to be. And every party of the contract must be, on the one hand, to abide by the contract, and, on the other hand, to demand that others abide by the contract. As a result, every individual, as one party to the moral contract, not only has the moral need to conform to the moral norms and to be a good person, but also has the moral need to expect others to conform to the moral norms and thus to be good people: the stronger the moral need for himself to conform to the moral norms and to be a good person, the stronger his moral need of expecting others to conform to the moral norms and to be good people; conversely, the weaker his moral needs for himself to conform to the moral norms and to be a good person, the weaker his moral need of expecting others to conform to the moral norms and to be good people. This is why in the whole of history and all over the world, all people actuated by high ideals have hated evil as much as one hates one’s own enemy.

In this way, the external direct source of reputation, being the same as the direct source of conscience, originates from everyone’s moral needs: each person not only has the moral need for himself to be a good person (the direct source of conscience), but also has the moral need of expecting others to be good people (the external direct source of reputation). Then, how can a person satisfy his moral need of expecting others to be good people? The only way for him to satisfy his moral needs of being a good person, as mentioned earlier, is to conform to morality and do good deeds. Similarly, the only way he can satisfy his moral needs of expecting others to be good people, of course, is to see that others conform to morality and do good deeds. Therefore, each person’s moral need of expecting others to be good people will push him to judge and evaluate whether the actions of other people are in conformity with morality, and thus to have various psychological and behavioral responses to whether his moral needs of expecting others to do good deeds are satisfied by the actions of others, which are the responses of cognition, emotion, volition, and action of reputation (honor and disgrace):

If a person sees others’ actions are in conformity with the moral norms, he will consider the others to be good people (the cognitive evaluation of reputation or honor, the cognitive reputation or the cognitive honor), and will be happy because his moral need of expecting others to conform to moral norms is realized, and then he will have respect for the others (the

Conscience and reputation 19 emotional evaluation of reputation or honor, and the emotional reputation or emotional honor), and will have the intention of learning from them (the behavioral evaluation of reputation or honor, and volitional reputation or volitional honor); then he will learn from the others (the behavioral evaluation of reputation or honor, and the behavioral reputation or honor). Conversely, if a person sees that others’ actions do not conform to the moral norms, he will consider that the others are not good people (the cognitive evaluation of reputation or disgrace, and the cognitive reputation or cognitive disgrace), and will suffer from much pain because his need of expecting others to conform to morality is not realized, and thus he will have an aversion to the others (the emotional evaluation of reputation or disgrace, and emotional reputations or emotional disgrace), and will have the intention of criticizing and condemning the others (the volitional evaluation of reputation or disgrace, and the volitional reputation or volitional disgrace); and he will criticize or condemn the others (the behavioral evaluation of reputation or disgrace, and the behavioral reputation or behavioral disgrace).

It is obvious that judging from the external aspect of reputation or the mutual giving of reputation, reputation originates from everyone’s moral need of expecting others to be good people, and its goal is to satisfy this moral need. However, why has everyone the moral need of expecting others also to be good people? And what is the ultimate external source of reputation? It is not difficult to see that this problem can be converted into the following two positive and negative aspects: on the one hand, what does a person get if the people he deals with are evil people who harm others for self-interest? Undoubtedly, he will suffer from damage and disadvantages in many ways. On the other hand, what does a person get if the people he deals with are kind and just people? Undoubtedly, he will get help and benefit in many ways. This implies that every person expects others to be good people, in the final analysis, just because, if others are good people, they will be beneficial to him, and if others are evil people, they will be harmful to him. In a word, benefiting oneself, self-interest, and vital relation of the goodness or badness of others’ moral character to the advantage or disadvantage of one’s own interests are the cause of everyone’s moral need of expecting others to be good people, and therefore are the external cause, source, and motivation that arouses reputation finally. Then, what are the internal sources of reputation?

 
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