Violence, Shame, and Moral Agency – An Exploration of Krista K. Thomason’s Position


  • Jan-Olav Henriksen MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Norway



Intrinsic evil, Virtue ethics, Object of the act, Intention/End, Account of evil


Krista Thomason’s account of shame explains the link between shame and violence as something that arises out of a tension between our identity and our self-conception: those things about which we feel shame are part of our identities, but they are not part of our self-conception. She sees violence as an attempt to regain agency and control and overcome shame. Although this is an important trait in shame, to explain violence as a response to the loss of agency is not sufficient. Furthermore, it cannot explain serious self-harm as the result of shame, since such reactions undermined the agency she holds that violence attempts to reclaim. Hence, these features need to be incorporated into a wider account of shame that sees it as a response to the interruption of intentional projects and attempts for coherent agency.


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How to Cite

Henriksen, J.-O. (2020) “Violence, Shame, and Moral Agency – An Exploration of Krista K. Thomason’s Position”, De Ethica, 6(1), pp. 23–34. doi: 10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.206123.