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Ethics Around the Table: Rosalind Chaplin (UNC, Philosophy), “Being Ashamed of Others: Rethinking the Self-Appraisal Account of Shame”
November 1, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Being Ashamed of Others: Rethinking the Self-Appraisal Account of Shame
The philosophical literature on shame treats shame as a kind of self-appraisal. When we experience shame, the predominant view holds, we negatively assess ourselves as possessing a flawed character, as being worthy of contempt, or as failing to live up to some ideal that we value. However, in addition to experiencing self-directed shame, most of us will also feel ashamed of someone else at some point in our lives. We may feel ashamed of our children, our parents, our friends, our siblings, or any number of others who have special significance to us. I explore several ways of understanding the relationship between shame in oneself and shame in others. I argue that there are compelling reasons to abandon the view that shame is essentially a kind of self-appraisal. And I show that by taking shame in others as a paradigmatic case of shame, we can better understand what it is to be ashamed of ourselves.