Shame, Values, and the Self

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:
Shame, Values, and the Self

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The aim of this chapter is to examine the idea that shame is a form of self-evaluation. We first present the relevant empirical evidence –evidence that pertains to the contrast between shame and guilt– that motivates the following key idea: shame has fundamental links with values and with the self. However, we argue that the claim that this idea typically promotes, namely that, in shame, one evaluates oneself as degraded or unworthy, is rather uninformative. This then motivates a search for the correct way of indentifying the self of shame. We explain why conceiving the self of shame as a Kantian person or as having exclusively to do with the subject's central commitments prove problematic. While mainly negative, this discussion allows us to individuate constraints that the evaluation dimension of shame has to meet and in particular to motivate the pluralism about shame-relevant values that informs our own theory presented in chapter 4.

Keywords: guilt; self; value; Kant; commitments; pluralism; evaluation; degradation; unworthiness

Chapter.  8724 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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