Quoting Sartre on Shame

‘Thus the Other has not only revealed to me what I was; he has established me in a new type of being which can support new qualifications. This being was not in me potentially before the appearance of the Other, for it could not have found any place in the for-itself. Even if some power had been pleased to endow me with a body wholly constituted before it should be for-others, still my vulgarity and my awkwardness could not lodge there potentially; for they are meanings and as such they transcend the body and at the same time refer to a witness capable of understandign them and to the totality of my human reality. But this new being which appears for the other does not reside in teh Other; I am responsible for it as is shown very well by the educational procedure of making children ashamed of what they are.

Thus shame is shame of oneself before the Other; these two structures are inseparable. But at the same time I need the Other in order to realise fully all the structures of my being. The for-itself refers to the for-others. Therefore if we wish to grasp in its totality the relation of man’s being to being-in-itself, we cannot be satisfied with the descriptions outlined in the earlier chapters of this work. We must answer two far more formidable questions: first that of the existence of the Other, then the question of my ontological relation to the being of the Other….’

 

~ Sartre, lifted from ‘Being and Nothingness’

 

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