Supererogatory Forgiveness

Inquiry 53 (6):540-564 (2010)
Abstract
While forgiveness is widely recognised as an example of a supererogatory action, it remains to be explained precisely what makes forgiveness supererogatory, or the circumstances under which it is supererogatory to forgive. Philosophers often claim that forgiveness is supererogatory, but most of the time they do so without offering an adequate explanation for why it is supererogatory to forgive. Accordingly, the literature on forgiveness lacks a sufficiently nuanced account of the supererogatory status of forgiveness. In this paper, I seek to remedy this shortcoming by offering a systematic account of forgiveness as an example of a supererogatory action. In terms of explaining the supererogatory status of forgiveness, I will argue that, to qualify as supererogatory, a forgiving action must fulfil three conditions: (i) it must be permissible; (ii) it must not be obligatory; and (iii) it must be good or praiseworthy, that is, it must have a certain moral value. Moreover, a distinction is drawn between “unconditional” and “conditional” forgiveness. I argue that conditional forgiveness (i.e. forgiveness of repentant wrongdoers) is sometimes a duty and sometimes supererogatory, whereas unconditional forgiveness (i.e. forgiveness of unrepentant wrongdoers) is typically supererogatory or beyond duty.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,018
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
R. S. Downie (1965). Forgiveness. Philosophical Quarterly 15 (59):128-134.

View all 19 references

Citations of this work BETA
Espen Gamlund (2011). The Duty to Forgive Repentant Wrongdoers. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (5):651-671.
Oliver Hallich (2013). Can the Paradox of Forgiveness Be Dissolved? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):999-1017.
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-07-07

Total downloads

79 ( #16,680 of 1,100,913 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #34,501 of 1,100,913 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.