We know shame can be a morally valuable emotion that helps us realize when we fail to be the kinds of people we aspire to be. We feel shame when we fail to live up to the norms, standards, and ideals we value as part of a virtuous life.
But the lived reality of shame is far more complex and far darker than this — the gut-level experience of shame that has little to do with failing to reach our ideals. We feel shame viscerally about nudity, sex, our bodies, and weaknesses or flaws that we can’t control. Shame can cause self-destructive and violent behavior, and chronic shame can cause painful psychological damage.
Is shame a valuable moral emotion, or would we be better off without it? In Naked: The Dark Side of Shame and Moral Life (PDF), author Krista K. Thomason takes a hard look at the reality of shame. The experience of it involves a tension between identity and self-conception: namely, what causes me shame both overshadow me (my self-conception) and yet is me (my identity), she argues. We are liable to feelings of shame because we are not always who we take ourselves to be.
Thomason extends her thought-provoking analysis to our current social and political landscape: shaming has increased dramatically because of the proliferation of social media platforms. And although these online shaming practices can be used in harmful ways, they can also root out those who express racist and sexist views and enable marginalized groups to confront oppression. Is more and continued shaming, therefore better, and is there moral promise in using shame in this way?
Thomason grapples with these and numerous other questions. Her account of shame makes sense of its good and bad features, its numerous gradations and complexity, and ultimately of its essential place in our moral lives.
“Naked: The Dark Side of Shame and Moral Life is a very thoughtful ebook that takes a deep dive into one of humankind’s most significant moral emotions. We recommend it.” — Ethics Unwrapped, McCombs School of Business – The University of Texas at Austin
“Thomason’s ebook is very insightful, provocative, and loaded with interesting and colorful examples. It will be of interest to theorists in normative ethics and philosophy of emotion, but also to advanced undergraduates and non-philosophers” — Max F. Kramer, metapsychology
“This textbook is undoubtedly a valuable contribution to furthering the conversation about shame and its proper place in morality. Krista’s account of the nature of shame is so alluring and deserves serious consideration… Philosophers seeking to better inform their own bets would do well in reading this ebook.” — Carissa, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
“This is an original and elegant account of shame, with striking explanatory power. Krista Thomason shows with style how even the most darkest features of shame have and deserve a place in our moral and ethical life. Naked is a must-read for anyone interested in the moral emotions, ethics, and moral psychology.” — Raffaele Rodogno, Aarhus University, Denmark
“Dr. Thomason’s unified account of shame is compelling and ambitious. Her constitutive account of moral emotions is independently plausible and worthy of further attention. And both accounts are developed within a sharply written piece of philosophy that is very rich with good engaging literary examples. She has shown that the darker side of shame can illuminate this complicated emotion’s brighter side.” — Jordan MacKenzie, Ethics
“There is also much to be appreciated by anyone with an interest in moral psychology. It formulates an understanding of the emotion of shame and advances controversial but powerful arguments about the permissibility of inducing some shame in others. I could envision it being used as the main textbook in a seminar on moral psychology, in conjunction with other papers or ebooks that bring alternative perspectives (virtue theoretic, pluralist, consequentialist) to bear.” — Mark Alfano, Criminal Justice Ethics
NOTE: This sale only includes the ebook Naked: The Dark Side of Shame and Moral Life in PDF by Thomason. No access codes included.