Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 241–264 | Cite as

Piper’s question and ours: a role for adversity in group-centred views of non-agentive shame

  • Basil VassilicosEmail author


This paper aims to contribute to ‘group-centred views’ of non-agentive shame (victim shame, oppression shame), by linking them to an ‘anepistemic’ model of the experience and impact of human failing. One of the most vexing aspects of those group-centred views remains how susceptivity to such shame ought to be understood. This contribution focuses on how a basic familiarity with adversity, in everyday life, may open individuals up to these forms of shame. If, per group-centred views, non-agentive shame is importantly driven by participation in social practices with others, a better understanding of the impact of adversity on individuals’ lives may offer a way of explaining how embodied experience instils in individuals a need for such participation. The upshot is an understanding of the individual’s susceptivity to non-agentive shame, which affords it the same legitimacy as more conventional notions of shame.


Shame Adversity Oppression Violence Participation 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMary Immaculate CollegeLimerickIreland

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