The philosophy of forgiveness

But when conduct is forgiven, there is no such implication. My chapter examines and draws several conclusions about how the moral life of individuals is enhanced through forgiveness.

Attitudes, Dispositions, and Philosophical Charity Ryan Michael Murphy Fort Lewis College The possibility of future-oriented forgivingness, or attitudinal dispositions that make it more likely for agents to forgive in cases of wrongdoing that might occur in the future, is the focus of this paper.

If I lack standing, then forgiving is not on the table for me; I am not a candidate for forgiving. From a normative standpoint, it is clearly preferable that the wrongdoer repents.

The novel intersects with the philosophical literature on self-forgiveness in numerous interesting ways, raising notable challenges to standard interpretations of self-forgiveness.


I would be letting go of my anger and desires for revenge. There may be other kinds of conditions that a victim must meet in order to effect morally positive forgiveness.

In his discussion on the nature of community and individual morality in Book IV of the Republic, Plato makes clear that demonstrations of anger are generally regarded as manifestations of intemperance, which is a vice, and since angry emotions are ever a threat to overwhelm reason and self-control they must be rationally controlled in the name of a harmonious ordering of the different parts of the soul, which is the essence of a morally good person Republic, — He completed his M.

It is widely thought that in order for an act of forgiveness to have positive moral status, the victim must meet certain conditions. We can call such conditions victim-dependent.

Responding to the view that forgiveness is the same wherever it occurs, William Neblett writes that if there is anything about forgiveness that is always the same, no matter the context, it is very little, and it is none of the various things that philosophers are prone to say that it is, that it must be like the wiping away of all resentment and ill-will.

Forgiveness: How does it work?

A certain bullish unforgiving attitude promises protection against chaos and social disintegration. Standing to Forgive It is standard to assume that not just anyone can forgive a wrongdoer for a certain wrong. But some philosophers have expressed skepticism about the morality of forgiveness as such.

Austin suggested that in addition to the performance of the act of uttering a sentence, we may also perform an act in uttering a sentence, what he called illocutionary acts.

The Meanings of Apologies New York: Since at least Downie cited under Forgiveness and Virtuephilosophers have produced articles, monographs, encyclopedia entries, and anthologized collections of essays on the conceptual, normative, phenomenological, and social-political nature of forgiveness.

By making such an utterance, one is actually able to make it so that a ship is christened or that one is found guilty.

Namely, the wrongdoer must: Second, it constitutes a second-best alternative to full interpersonal forgiveness, in the sense that when full interpersonal forgiveness is not forthcoming and there can be many reasons for thisself-forgiving is nevertheless an important and sometimes morally appropriate response to having done wrong.

His philosophical interests are primarily centered on Modern Philosophy particularly late Leibniz but he is also interested in Contemporary Continental Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, and Critical Race Theory. Of course, both thick and thin conceptions of forgiveness can require or not require that either or both victim-dependent and wrongdoer-dependent conditions were first met.

From the ancient Greeks to the present day, forgiveness has typically been regarded as a personal response to having been injured or wronged, or as a condition one seeks or hopes is bestowed upon one for having wronged someone else. A clean conscience is only a possibility for the callously unimaginative.

Punishment-forbearance accounts may come in a variety of flavors, depending on how one understands the logical relations between forgiving and forbearing punishment see, e. A Philosophical Exploration is a masterful treatment of a central issue in moral philosophy. By making such an utterance, one is actually able to make it so that a ship is christened or that one is found guilty.

In other cases, reconciliation is practically impossible.

Philosophy of Forgiveness

Third, in many-to-many political forgiveness, groups or collectives enter into forgiveness relations with other groups or collectives. 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.

We therefore want to know what kinds of changes are at issue with respect to each of these claims, and what relations hold between them.

The minimal emotionalist can allow that there are lots of negative emotions that one might experience upon being wronged e. If all that is required is that resentment be kept in check, this could be done without it ever having been excessive.

Although he once argued that forgiveness ought to be construed narrowly as the overcoming of resentment, Murphy has now, citing the influence of Richards and others, become more ecumenical, writing that we should think of forgiveness as overcoming a variety of negative feelings that one might have toward a wrongdoer—resentment, yes, but also such feelings as anger, hatred, loathing, contempt, indifference, disappointment, or even sadness.

First, I aim to clarify this concept by describing how it is categorically congruent with the paradigmatic case of past wrongdoing and forgiveness that occurs in the present.

In doing so, the speaker places herself under an obligation to do or not do what she says she will do or not do. It is difficult to know what exactly these characterizations of resentment amount to, what kinds of relations hold between them, and perhaps most importantly, which view is correct.

Specifically, I seek to develop an understanding of forgiveness as attitudinally-centered such that it also informs philosophical methodology. Third, defenders of performative accounts need not think that only speech acts e.

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).

Much of the Philosophy of Forgiveness has focused on either epistemic questions (surrounding the possibility, effectiveness, and process of forgiving another, as well as its connection to forgetfulness) or on moral concerns (such as its status as a virtue and its supposed obligatoriness).

The Philosophy of Forgiveness is multi-dimensional and complex. As recent scholarly philosophical works on forgiveness illustrate, incorporating personal, relational, political, ethical, psychological, and religious dimensions into one consistent conception of “forgiveness” is Court D.

Lewis. 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. 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 Court D.

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