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In Defense of ShameThe Faces of an Emotion$
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Julien Deonna, Raffaele Rodogno, and Fabrice Teroni

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199793532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793532.001.0001

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Shame's Fragile Beauty

Shame's Fragile Beauty

(p.154) Chapter 6 Shame's Fragile Beauty
In Defense of Shame

Julien A. Deonna

Raffaele Rodogno

Fabrice Teroni

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, which responds to chapter 2, we suggest that a shift of focus from short-term episodes to the more general manifestations of one's sense of shame promotes a completely different picture of the action tendencies and emotional conditions associated with this emotion than the one offered by advocates of the claim that shame is morally ugly. We scrutinize the methodology and presuppositions of central empirical studies offered in favor of this conclusion and explain how a series of distinctions should make us revise this conclusion. As we explain, not only are there no good empirical reasons to claim that shame is morally ugly, but the long-term action tendencies associated with shame can be of moral value and our sense of shame can also manifest itself by preventing altogether the occurrence of what we deem shameful.

Keywords:   moral ugliness, action tendecies, emotional conditions, empirical studies, morality, sense of shame

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