The philosophy of forgiveness

But here, we should be careful to distinguish between two different questions. But on consequentialist grounds alone it seems clear that controlling intense anger rather than its unfettered expression is closer to what a good life requires, for though anger may sometimes be enabling in motivating constructive solutions to personal or political problems, its indiscriminate expression is more likely to be disabling, both for those expressing it and for those around them.

Charles Griswold also appears to have in mind a kind of moderate emotionalism: For example, it might be thought that in order for forgiveness to have positive moral status, the victim must forgive for certain kinds of good reasons.

In brief, I propose understanding Arendt as suggesting—not that evil is objectively banal, or a mere failure of imagination—but instead that it is maximally forgiveness-facilitating for us to understand that which is seemingly unforgivable as merely a failure of imagination.

In this respect his view differs from Garrard and McNaughton, who do target those emotions that involve desires to inflict suffering on the wrongdoer.

But the fact that I am unwilling to restore our relationship does not, all by itself, make it impossible for you forgive me for the wrong I did to you.

When we draw attention to these facts—that is, when we offer an excuse for our action—we are not claiming that what we did was not morally wrong. His primary scholarly interests are in Philosophy of Religion. For even if there are certain cases in which one can be forgiven for non-culpably having done wrong say, in moral dilemma casesthis does not change the fact that forgiven agents can be morally responsible and blameworthy but that agents who are excused are not morally responsible and blameworthy.

Political Forgiveness The power of pardon enjoyed by duly established political authorities may be at best a loose cognate of forgiveness, but this is not to say that all legal or political analogues to forgiveness are implausible for discussion see MacLachlancf.

Finally, one-to-one political forgiveness involves individuals forgiving other individuals. What kind of process is required? Supposing that Maria has direct standing to forgive her assailant, if it is possible for Ted to forgive the assailant on behalf of Maria, he is able to do so in virtue of possessing what we may call proxy standing.

Although there seems to be no logical reason to think self-forgiveness as overcoming various forms of self-directed moral reactive attitudes such as disappointment or disgust is fundamentally unlike interpersonal forgiveness, there are significant differences between the two.

Among the various emotion accounts, however, there is significant disagreement on two main points: Second, mercy is third-personal in a way that forgiveness is not. For wrongdoing that is excused entirely, there is nothing to forgive, since as we shall see agents who are fully excused are not blameworthy or culpable.

Jeffrie Murphy expresses such a view when he says that I do not have standing to resent or forgive you unless I have myself been the victim of your wrongdoing. In doing so, the speaker places herself under an obligation to do or not do what she says she will do or not do.

If I lack standing, then forgiving is not on the table for me; I am not a candidate for forgiving. What kinds of reasons?

Such a declaration could release a wrongdoer from certain kinds of personal obligations to the victim such as further apology or restitution, remorse or penance Nelkin God forgives us by eliminating that resentment though see Minas Jeffrie Murphy articulates a similar view, claiming that acceptable grounds for forgiveness must be compatible with self-respect, respect for others as moral agents, and respect for the rules of morality and the moral order.

However, once she has determined that forgiveness is the appropriate attitude towards her offender and has overcome her negative feelings towards him, it will presumably be possible for her to conquer these feelings again if they do recur.

Barring exceptional circumstances, you cannot forgive me for the offense I caused to a co-worker—you simply lack the standing to forgive me for my offense to her. Forgiveness, however, is not necessarily overt. Who has standing to forgive?

For some, forgiveness has these forward-looking benefits because of the way it transfigures the past. We survey emotion accounts by taking these two issues in turn.

In recent work, Jeffrie Murphy has also endorsed a more expansive emotionalism. Theories of Forgiveness 5. Switzer is currently completing a manuscript on the aesthetics and politics of the student protests in Paris in May After distinguishing between the underlying logics of conditional and unconditional forgiveness, Derrida articulates the way in which forgiveness requires an absolute encounter between the Self and the Other, which is riddled with linguistic impossibilities.

The term itself may be misleading for the kind of conditions on morally positive forgiveness they rejected are what we are calling the wrongdoer-dependent conditions: Third, defenders of performative accounts need not think that only speech acts e.

Second, some recent popular views suggest that the uninhibited expression of anger and rage is a good thing, insofar as such venting is cathartic.


According to these views, when one forgives one commits not to hold a past wrong against someone and so the story goes were one to punish, doing so would be to hold a past wrong against the wrongdoer.

A disposition to too readily forgive may be symptomatic of a lack of self-respect, or indicative of servility, ordinarily viewed as moral infirmities or vices Novitz Cognate communicative acts, gestures, and facial expressions may achieve the same result Swinburne We can call such conditions victim-dependent.Griswold says that forgiveness has certain conditions.

Griswold describes important parts of the process of forgiveness. Griswold's view requires the forgiven to repent. John says that there are other conceptions of forgiveness, and one is a view that forgiveness only involves the person doing the forgiving.

Forgiveness: How does it work? Posted on June 12, by Justin Caouette My current philosophical interests are centered around the metaphysics of moral responsibility.

Dec 26,  · Excuse, mercy, reconciliation, pardon, political apology and forgiveness of financial debt are not imperfect versions of interpersonal forgiveness; rather, they are related but distinct concepts.

Take political apology, for example.

While unilateral forgiveness is unconditional and is a process which happens wholly within the person who has suffered an injustice, negotiated forgiveness requires of the wrongdoer (1) confession; (2) ownership; and (3) repentance for their actions.

The Forgiveness Project. Philosophy Bites Program on Forgiveness, interview with Lucy Allais (UC-San Diego).

Philosophy Bites Program on Derrida and Forgiveness, interview with Robert Rowland Smith. Chronological bibliography of philosophical work on forgiveness, maintained by Brandon Warmke (Bowling Green State University).

The Philosophy of Forgiveness - Volume II - New Dimensions of Forgiveness [Court D.

Forgiveness: How does it work?

Lewis] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Volume II of Vernon Press’s series on the Philosophy of Forgiveness offers several challenging and provocative chapters that seek to push the conversation in new directions and dimensions.

The philosophy of forgiveness
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