The truth of shame-consciousness in Freud and phenomenology

Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 31 (1):1-18 (2000)
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This paper addresses the philosophical problems posed by shame-consciousness, specifically with respect to the question as to whether the feelings of shame signify an apprehension of truth. After reviewing several methodological problems posed by shame-consciousness, the paper takes up the theoretical treatment of shame in Freud, Scheler, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty, in order to show how shame illuminates the constitution of subjectivity by power relations in society. This psychoanalytic and phenomenological account of shame is shown to be confirmed by material drawn from cultural studies of shame, and by contemporary feminist critique



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Robert Metcalf
University of Colorado at Denver

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