Guilt is the uncomfortable feeling of having done wrong, and therefore deserving the anger of others. Shame is the sense of deserving the contempt or disdain of others. Although anthropologists and historians sometimes divide societies as more prone to stress one of these emotions rather than the other, both appear to be found in a large variety of human cultures. The social function of each of them is readily seen: with guilt we are primed to tolerate the anger of others that would otherwise make us angry in return; with shame we internalize the values that lead to admiration or rejection. It is noteworthy that each emotion is only easily characterized in moral terms. This makes them dangerous starting-points for emotive analyses of ethics, although such an account putting guilt at the centre is given in the American philosopher Allan Gibbard's Wise Choices, Apt Feelings (1991).

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • shame — See guilt/shame …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Shame — Shame, n. [OE. shame, schame, AS. scamu, sceamu; akin to OS. & OHG. scama, G. scham, Icel. sk[ o]mm, shkamm, Sw. & Dan. skam, D. & G. schande, Goth. skanda shame, skaman sik to be ashamed; perhaps from a root skam meaning to cover, and akin to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shame — Shame, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Shamed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Shaming}.] 1. To make ashamed; to excite in (a person) a comsciousness of guilt or impropriety, or of conduct derogatory to reputation; to put to shame. [1913 Webster] Were there but one… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shame — [n] disgrace, embarrassment abashment, bad conscience*, blot, chagrin, compunction, confusion, contempt, contrition, degradation, derision, discomposure, discredit, disesteem, dishonor, disrepute, guilt, humiliation, ignominy, ill repute, infamy …   New thesaurus

  • guilt — [n] blame; bad conscience over responsibility answerability, blameworthiness, contrition, crime, criminality, culpability, delinquency, dereliction, disgrace, dishonor, error, failing, fault, indiscretion, infamy, iniquity, lapse, liability,… …   New thesaurus

  • Shame — This article is about psychological, philosophical, and societal aspects of shame. For other uses, see Shame (disambiguation). Eve covers herself and lowers her head in shame in Rodin s sculpture Eve after the Fall …   Wikipedia

  • Guilt — Guilty redirects here. For other uses, see Guilty (disambiguation). Guilt is the state of being responsible for the commission of an offense.[1] It is also a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes… …   Wikipedia

  • Shame society — A shame society is one in which the primary device for gaining control over children and maintaining control over adults is the inculcation of shame and the complementary threat of ostracism. A shame society is to be distinguished from a guilt… …   Wikipedia

  • Guilt society — A guilt society is one in which the primary method of social control is the inculcation of feelings of guilt for behaviors that the society defines as undesirable. It involves an implicit judgment on the being (rather than just the behavior) of… …   Wikipedia

  • shame — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. humiliation, mortification, abashment; ignominy, reproach, disgrace, dishonor. v. t. humiliate, mortify, abash, disgrace. See disrepute, impurity, wrong. Ant., pride, honor. II (Roget s IV) n. 1. [A… …   English dictionary for students

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.