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Title: Pride, Shame, and Patriotism: Conceptual and Normative Questions About Self- and Other-Directed Emotions
Authors: Di Rosa, Elena
Advisors: Harman, Elizabeth
Contributors: Philosophy Department
Keywords: patriotism
Subjects: Philosophy
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation explores pride, shame, and patriotism. In Chapter One, I discuss various ways in which pride—both the emotion and its expression—can be inappropriate or ‘improper.’ I argue that in order for an instance of pride to be proper, at least four conditions must be met. Through a series of cases, I highlight instances of pride that violate one or more of these necessary conditions. In doing so, I hope to draw attention to two potentially counterintuitive phenomena: that one can make a mistake in being proud of a prideworthy object, and that this mistake—among other mistakes one can make with respect to pride—can render instances of pride morally improper. In Chapter Two, I discuss shame. Philosophical accounts of shame focus on self-directed shame. The experience of feeling ashamed of others and what they have done, on the other hand, has been relatively under-examined. It is this ‘other-directed’ or ‘interpersonal’ shame that is the focus of the second chapter. I argue that exploring this species of shame is worthy of greater philosophical attention both because of its prevalence in our social and emotional lives, and because it reveals (1) that many existing accounts of shame are ill-equipped to handle an entire class of shame episodes and (2) that there is a significant asymmetry between other-directed pride and other-directed shame, which is notable insofar as pride and shame are commonly thought to be contraries. Chapter Three concerns the ethics of patriotism. I argue that patriotism is love of country, and that patriotic love is consistent with feeling—and in fact disposes one to feel—pride in one’s country in certain instances and shame in one’s country in others. I maintain that patriotism as such is neither inherently morally objectionable nor inherently morally good, and that in order to determine the appropriateness—moral or otherwise—of an instance of patriotism, we must evaluate the reasons that underlie it. After developing a preliminary account of proper patriotism, I explore the ways in which oppression and social positioning might bear on the appropriateness of an individual’s patriotism.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Philosophy

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