Chapter

Shame Revealed

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793532.003.0005
Shame Revealed

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We present in this chapter our own theory of shame. Shame, we argue, is the subject's painful sense of her own incapacity to live up to, even minimally, the demands consubstantial with one or some of the values she is attached to. This verdict of incapacity captures the distinctive sense in which an individual's identity is shaken in shame. Our theory is also pluralist in the sense that shame can arise as much in connection with the values manifested by an individual's pudeur as with those manifested by his dignity, decency or integrity. We then explain how this account is apt to illuminate some key aspects of shame, such as the distinction between rational and irrational shame, the phenomenology of shame, the distinctively self-relevant character of the evaluation it features and also show how it is apt to distinguish shame from other negative self-reflexive emotions such as self-disappointment, embarrassment and guilt.

Keywords: incapacity; rationality; dignity; phenomenology; self-disappointment; guilt; decency; embarrassment; integrity

Chapter.  8194 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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