Quotation by Bernard Williams

The most primitive experiences of shame are connected with sight and being seen, but it has been interestingly suggested that guilt is rooted in hearing, the sound in oneself of the voice of judgment; it is the moral sentiment of the word. There are further differences in the experience of the two reactions. Gabriele Taylor has well said that "shame is the emotion of self-protection," and in the experience of shame, one's whole being seems diminished or lessened. In my experience of shame, the other sees all of me and all through me, even if the occasion of shame is on my surface—for instance, in my appearance; and the expression of shame, in general, as well as in the particular form of it that is embarrassment, is not just the desire to hide, or to hide my face, but the desire to disappear, not to be there. It is not even the wish, as people say, to sink through the floor, but rather the wish that the space occupied by me should be instantaneously empty. With guilt it is not like this. I am more dominated by the thought that even if I disappeared, it would come with me.
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