Organon F

Volume 27, August 2020, Issue 3, Pages 377–394

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

How Is Vicarious Feeling Possible? In Defense of Reactive Attitudes

Sunny Yang 


My aim in this paper is to illuminate the question of how vicarious feeling is possible, by advancing our understanding of vicarious emotions. I address this problem by classifying the reactive attitude into two categories: the vicarious, and the self-reactive. I argue that guilt is constitutively tied to personal responsibility and that the appropriateness of vicarious feeling of group harm derives from a reflection on the appropriateness of our own reactive attitude, that is, vicarious reactive attitude, e.g., indignation or outrage.


Collective guilt; indignation; reactive attitude; responsibility; vicarious feeling.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Sunny Yang


Hankuk University of Foreign Studies


Minerva Liberal Art College, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, 81, Oedaero, Mohyeon, Choingu, Yongin, Gyeonggi, 17035, South Korea


About this article


16 June 2019


12 February 2020

Published online

29 February 2020


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Yang, S. (2020). How Is Vicarious Feeling Possible? In Defense of Reactive Attitudes. Organon F27(3), 377–394.


Yang, Sunny. 2020. "How Is Vicarious Feeling Possible? In Defense of Reactive Attitudes." Organon F 27 (3): 377–394.


Yang, S.  (2020). How Is Vicarious Feeling Possible? In Defense of Reactive Attitudes. Organon F, 27(3), pp. 377–394.

Copyright information

© Sunny Yang

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