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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Authentic and Inauthentic Shame Seminar

16:00 - 18:00
12 February 2019
Room 2115, Building 65, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Alexander Greenberg at .

Event details

Part of the Philosophy Seminar Series 2018/19.

It is often claimed that shame is inherently social. Shame is usually prompted by other people's judgment, or imagined judgment, of oneself, and manifests in hiding behaviour. I argue that these are merely common causal features of episodes of shame. Other people’s judgments are not part of the structure of the emotion itself. Rather, shame embodies a judgment of oneself grounded in values embedded in one's cognitive system. If one endorses those values, the shame is authentic. If one does not endorse those values, but they persist and influence one's cognition in the way characteristic of implicit prejudices, then the shame is inauthentic. Beauvoir and Fanon have both described this kind of shame as grounded in values inherited from one's social environment. In these cases, inauthentic shame is inherently social. Authentic shame, by contrast, is always fully one's own.

This series of seminars are sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy.


Speaker information

Jonathan Webber, Cardiff University. Head of Philosophy

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