The Ugly Emotion

Julien A. Deonna, Raffaele Rodogno and Fabrice Teroni

in In Defense of Shame

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199793532
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199928569 | DOI:
The Ugly Emotion

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This chapter presents a recent strong attack against shame that focuses on its manifestations and action tendencies dimensions. The thought here is that shame is directly morally bad in that it distinctively correlates with a variety of damaging emotional conditions and action tendencies like hiding, anger, aggression, lack of empathy and depression. We present a variety of experiments that have been offered in favor of these conclusions. Next, we consider some evolutionary perspectives on shame that have attempted to explain why shame has these damaging action tendencies. The claim is that shame descends from a proto-emotion that proved adaptive with regard to in-group rank negotiation. However, due to societal changes, shame now proves maladaptive and its inherited traits support the conclusion that it is morally ugly. This conclusion is challenged in chapter 6.

Keywords: anger; hiding; depression; empathy; evolutionary psychology; manifestations; action tendencies

Chapter.  7970 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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