Differentiating Shame from Guilt

Consciousness and Cognition 17 (4):1063-1400. (2008)
How does shame differ from guilt? Empirical psychology has recently offered distinct and seemingly incompatible answers to this question. This article brings together four prominent answers into a cohesive whole. These are that (a) shame differs from guilt in being a social emotion; (b) shame, in contrast to guilt, affects the whole self; (c) shame is linked with ideals, whereas guilt concerns prohibitions and (d) shame is oriented towards the self, guilt towards others. After presenting the relevant empirical evidence, we defend specific interpretations of each of these answers and argue that they are related to four different dimensions of the emotions. This not only allows us to overcome the conclusion that the above criteria are either unrelated or conflicting with one another, it also allows us to tell apart what is constitutive from what is typical of them. -/- .
Keywords Guilt  Shame  Emotion  Norm  Value
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2008.02.002
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References found in this work BETA
Christoph Jäger & Anne Bartsch (2006). Meta-Emotions. Grazer Philosophische Studien 73 (1):179-204.
Cheshire Calhoun (2004). An Apology for Moral Shame. Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (2):127–146.
J. David Velleman (1999). A Rational Superego. Philosophical Review 108 (4):529-558.
Paul Gilbert (2003). Evolution, Social Roles, and the Differences in Shame and Guilt. Social Research: An International Quarterly 70 (4):1205-1230.

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Citations of this work BETA
Raffaele Rodogno (2009). Shame, Guilt, and Punishment. Law and Philosophy 28 (5):429 - 464.

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