Journals Higher Education



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Published: 15 December 2011

288 Pages


ISBN: 9780199793532

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In Defense of Shame

The Faces of an Emotion

Julien Deonna, Raffaele Rodogno, and Fabrice Teroni

  • This is the first monograph on shame to take the results of many different disciplines into account.
  • In it the authors present an original theory of shame centering on a distinctive form of self-evaluation involving the subject's feeling incapable to be and to behave in ways compatible with the values to which she is attached.
  • It includes an extended critical examination of the most recent and older theories of shame (in particular those of M. Scheler, J. Rawls, G. Taylor, J. Deigh, D. Velleman, J. P. Tangney, R. Benedict, R. Wollheim, and H. B. Lewis)
  • The authors clarify many common claims and misconceptions about shame (e.g. that shame is a social emotion, that shame is morally bad, etc.) and explain how shame is distinguished from other self-reflexive negative emotions such as guilt, embarrassment and humiliation.
  • The book sheds light on the relations between shame episodes and the sense of shame (dignity, integrity, pudeur, decency)
  • It hinges on several controversial theses: shame is not a social emotion, shame has to do with the subject's experiencing her own incapacity, shame is morally relevant and can be morally good.

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