The article concentrates both on the distinction between aidos and aischyne in Aristotle’s work and on the relevance of shame in Aristotle’s ethical theory. With respect to the Nicomachean Ethics, the question addressed is why Aristotle maintains that aidos can be helpful in the education to virtue but cannot itself be considered a virtue. With respect to the Rhetoric, the focus is first on the terminological distinction between aidos and aischyne, and subsequently on the relevance of temporality, and the role that witnesses are supposed to play with respect to aischyne. Having shown that Aristotle attributes to shame certain functions that today are commonly attributed to guilt, the author claims that for Aristotle shame covers a wider range of phenomena than one might expect: not only actions for which an agent can be responsible, but also situations in which the agent plays no active role, or even events in which the subject suffers passively evil done by others. The person who feels shame is faced with a gap between her beliefs and expectations about herself and a perspective from which she is seen as defective or degraded. When the feeling of degradation is a response to the apparent culpable behavior of others, shame paves the way to anger. The last part of the paper is devoted to exploring the relationship between shame and anger. The questions addressed are why shame can induce someone to anger and why, by contrast, someone feeling angry may remain insensitive to shame.
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