PhaenEx 8 (1):28-58 (2013)

Alba Montes Sánchez
University College, Cork
In the many studies of shame that have been carried out in several disciplines during the past years, shame has generally been understood as an emotion that bears importantly on our sense of self and has crucial implications for ethics. While most accounts of shame agree on several core aspects, notably taking shame to be an emotion of negative self-assessment, one main area of disagreement focuses on the question of whether shame is a social or a private emotion: whether it is essentially anxiety about the way others judge us, or rather about our faults or inadequacies as perceived and judged by ourselves. In my view, however, the dichotomy arises as a result of conceiving the moral self in restrictive terms, but phenomenology can offer a more adequate picture, that allows us to take into account and fully articulate both dimensions. Both the social and the private are necessary to understand this emotion and its special relevance for selfhood and ethics. My aim in this paper is therefore to challenge this dichotomy and point towards self-revelation as the essential feature of this emotion
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DOI 10.22329/p.v8i1.3903
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