Department of Religion and Philosophy
In this article I explore the ethical quandaries associated with an unusual online practice in the contemporary People’s Republic of China: Renrou Sousu人肉·搜索or “Human Flesh Search [Engines]”. This kind of practice is illegal in most other modern countries, but not in the PRC. I explain in part why some Chinese persons would be attracted to get involved in this form of on-and-off-line vigilantism from one Chinese classical source, but then delve into contemporary studies of this practice within overseas studies by computer scientists that do not explore the ethical quandaries that result from this practice. Paralleling this early 21st century experience with one in Denmark in the 1840s and experience by Soren Kierkegaard, I argue that some of the very notable influences include online panic attacks and some Chinese youth fearing to go online because they might be stalked by “human flesh search” vigilantis.
internet ethics, Human Flesh Search [Engine]/ renrou sousuo, Zhongyong / The Practice of the Mean, Soren Kierkegaard, cultural anxiety
Source Publication Title
Modernos & Contemporâneos (International Journal of Philosophy)
Dossiê Leibniz e a China
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Link to Publisher's Edition
Pfister, L. (2017). Comparative Ethical Questions on the Quandaries involved in the Contemporary Phenomenon of “Human Flesh Search [Engines]” in the PRC. Modernos & Contemporâneos (International Journal of Philosophy), 1 (1), 127-144. Retrieved from https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/hkbu_staff_publication/6996