On Shame – In Response to Dan Zahavi, Self and Other

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (5):634-638 (2015)
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In chapter 14 of Zahavi’s recent book, Self and Other, the notion of shame is discussed. In feeling shame one experiences oneself as experienced by others. For Sartre, that experience in itself is sufficient for shame, as one experiences oneself as determined in the experience of others and hence as shamefully not self-determining. But Zahavi introduces an extra condition for shame, which is a ‘global decrease in self-esteem’. This paper questions the need for this condition and argues that seeing oneself as shameful in the eyes of others needs to be spelt out in a pragmatist way in terms of certain shame-involving practices rather than in a purely phenomenological way

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Rowland Stout
University College Dublin


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