The Philosophy of Regret

It seems that a lot of people regret things. They regret their actions, they regret not having done things, etc.

But what is regret anyways? A theory: regret is some sort of strange self revenge.

All of your actions were perfect actions.

What if in fact, all of your actions were perfect actions. That when you preferred a certain action or task, the action you did was at the time, the perfect one. But let us assume that given all of your knowledge and wisdom, you did what you think was the most wise thing to do, but after the fact, the result was not perfect. Then perhaps the regret is the notion that things should have been different. That things should have manifested themselves differently.

But could they have manifested themselves differently? Perhaps not.

Why do we regret?

I think there’s a social function. That is, when we regret something, we fear punishment from an outside entity. Or something to do with some loss of economic gain.

What if regret was something we were socialized into feeling? For example when we “sin“, we have been trained by our elders to regret. Thus my theory is that regret is a sociological and learned behavior, not an innate one.

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