Shame — The Devil: Truth, Transgression, and the New Daimonology

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The current social and political conjuncture is in many ways defined by complex entanglements of emotionality and truth. Within interpersonal and family relationships, for instance, under the normative requirements of a prevalent but occluded therapeutic ethos, one is encouraged if not required to ‘speak your (emotional, and thereby ‘authentic’) truth’, not merely as ‘confession’ but often as confrontation. In the political sphere, populists present as fearless truth-tellers, bravely transgressing normative boundaries of the status quo or ‘woke’ culture while simultaneously instantiating a post-truth politics. In both, key elements of parrhesia are involved — critique, power, and risks to self and the social bond. In this talk I will briefly reflect on the specific emotion of shame (and shamelessness) in relation to truth within these different registers, as a ‘daimon’ that we are all seemingly possessed by, influencing, and shaping our character (ethos anthropos daimon), which can only be exorcised through ‘fearless speech’.
Period26 Apr 2024
Event titleSymposium: The Problem of Critique and Truth in Public
Event typeConference
LocationGalway, IrelandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational