Non-Culpable Feeling of Guilt and Illusory Innocence

Keywords: guilt, feeling of guilt, regret, shame


The analyses conducted in this paper are an attempt to sort out the possible relations between guilt and feeling of guilt. The problem of feeling guilt turns out to be complicated due to the ambiguous relationship with actual culpability. Guilt is not necessarily preceded by the execution of an action, for which we might blame someone, and the belief that one is guilty is not the same as actual guilt. When the guilty claim to be innocent, it can be the result of both a misunderstanding of moral standards and a loss of moral sensitivity often combined with a belief in their own impunity. Wrong judgment is also one of the reasons why the innocent claim to be guilty. The innocent also feel guilty for causing evil of which they were only involuntary, physical makers, or over which, through an unfortunate coincidence, they seemed to have only a minimal and ineligible influence.

Author Biography

Barbara Chyrowicz, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland

Prof. Dr. habil. Barbara Chyrowicz — The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Department of Ethics


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