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Afanasenko, Ya. A. Ambivalence of Guilt: Anthropological Aspect

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2013-9 in rubric "Dasein of the human being", pages 1258-1269.

Resume: The object of our research is a personal guilt as a cultural phenomenon. The subject of our research is the ambivalence of guilt. The purpose of the research is to determine what opposite values are covered by the concept of guilt and how these opposite values are determined by the cultural environment. Theoretical grounds of the research include symbolic interpretation of culture in Ernst Cassirers writings, Jungs and Horneys psychoanalysis and Alexander Dugins historical sintagma. For us guilt is the problem of self-understanding, existential self-identity and therefore resolution of guilt is associated with both personal responsibility and punishment. The authors of the article offer their own definitions of guilt and ambivalence where guilt is, in the first place, a life-meaning phenomenon or existential appealing to ones true existence and ambivalence is the category inscribing the essence of human existence in culture, particularly, in Art Nouveau. From the existential point of view, the feeling of guilt means self-accusation, self-condemnation and tender conscience. The core of this concept is placing responsibility for ones wrong doings on ourselves instead of self-justifying. Since this meaning of guilt is actualized only in the symbolic environment, we can talk here about a special role of religion, philosophy and psychoanalysis in modern culture: they allow us to retain connection with our transcendence, questioning about the meaning of life, starvation for high moral principles, on one hand, and constructive experience of our shaded area, on the other hand. Contrary to the existential guilt, there is also a neurotic guilt. The main feature of such guilt is its projective nature, i.e. placing responsibility for ones wrong doings on others. Neurotic guilt is typical for a person who doesnt have any symbolic experience of culture. Todays cultural situation disposes to semiotic interpretation of culture and acculturation at the level of symbols, therefore neurotic guilt is becoming a dominating discourse. This is the main conclusion made by the author of the article.

Keywords: cultural science, guilt, ambivalence, punishment, freedom, culture, psychoanalysis, symbol, sign.

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2013.9.6978

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