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Shame in Plato's Dialogues

Grant number: 17/18451-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2017
Effective date (End): May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Roberto Bolzani Filho
Grantee:Luiz Eduardo Gonçalves Oliveira Freitas
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/05317-8 - Theories of causation and human agency in ancient Greek philosophy, AP.TEM


This project aims to analyze Plato's views on shame. The occasion in which shame is explictly discussed in the dialogues are rare; its definitions, at least in comparison with the definitional discussions about virtues, are rather opaque. If we adopt the Republic's famous tripartition of the soul model, shame, among other emotions, plays only an intermediate role. However, on several occasions throughout the dialogues, as in prominent case of the Gorgias, the appeal is shame is fundamental for the proper functioning of Socrates' arguments. This project's underlying hypothesis is that Plato sees and defends an ethical and philosophical role of shame as a psychological phenomenon that is expressed not only through the explicit doctrines asserted by Socrates but in the composition of the dialogues themselves. In order to investigate our hypothesis, we must develop three processes concomitantly: (i) analyzing the moments in which Plato uses shame as a philosophical device in the dialogues' discussions; (ii) precising its conceptual role in relation to the placement of thumos in Plato's moral psychology and (iii) taking into account possible changes throughout the corpus about i and ii.