In Shame, Fame, and the Technological Mentality, Dustin Peone interrogates the modern human condition. Peone argues that shame and fear are constitutive of social order, but that these affects have been undermined by contemporary ideology. This subversion has created a novel breed of shameless and fearless human beings, with myriad social consequences. Peone next demonstrates an associated change in the role of fame in society: where once the desire for fame was tied to immortality through civic virtue, this connection has eroded, and fame is no longer connected to excellence. Finally, Peone analyzes the hegemonic role of technological thinking and its responsibility in accelerating these processes, cautioning against the deification of technology. In response to the technological mentality for navigating the modern world, Peone argues instead for an ethics of prudence and a doctrine of humor.
Dustin Peone is a fellow of the Institute for Vico Studies in Atlanta.
Introduction: The Idea of the Work
Chapter 1: Shame
Chapter 2: Fame
Chapter 3: The Technological Mentality
“This is an excellent work and brings a plurality of resources to themes central to the enduring human condition, as well as contemporary manifestations and indeed malformations of this enduring condition. The style is intelligent, informed, and informative. Moreover, it is pleasingly engaging and carries the reader along with the unfolding of different cultural and historical facets of relevance to the themes of the book. Thoughtful, apt in its reflections, and marked by refreshing touches of humor, it is a worthy work.”
"A gripping narrative about the possible exit from the dead-end track of the technological mentality. Not a happy end story, but a reasonable restoration of virtue ethics via a masterful dialectics of shame and fame against the background of prominent examples from the history of Western philosophy and literature."
“In this perceptive, wide-ranging, and learned book, Dustin Peone reflects on the positive function of shame, the primordial urge to fame, and the power of technology to undermine both. He challenges prevailing assumptions, reminds us of the common good, and suggests that the cultivation of a historically informed prudence, as well as a sense of humor, may allow a space to think and to live without capitulation to dictates of modern technology. This is a vital book on subjects of significance for self and society.”