David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In C. Allen Speight & Alice MacLachlan (eds.), Justice, Responsibility and Reconciliation in the Wake of Conflict. Springer. 183-204 (2013)
In this paper, I explore how theorists might navigate a course between the twin dangers of piety and excess cynicism when thinking critically about state apologies, by focusing on two government apologies to indigenous peoples: namely, those made by the Australian and Canadian Prime Ministers in 2008. Both apologies are notable for several reasons: they were both issued by heads of government, and spoken on record within the space of government: the national parliaments of both countries. Furthermore, in each case, the object of the apology – that which was apologized for – comes closer to disrupting the idea both countries have of themselves, and their image in the global political community, than any previous apologies made by either government. Perhaps as a result, both apologies were surrounded by celebration and controversy alike, and tracing their consequences – even in the short term – is a difficult business. We avoid excessive piety or cynicism, I argue, when we take several things into account. First, apologies have multiple functions: they narrate particular histories of wrongdoing, they express disavowal of that wrongdoing, and they commit to appropriate forms of repair or renewal. Second, the significance and the success of each function must be assessed contextually. Third, when turning to official political apologies, in particular, appropriate assessment of their capacity to disavow or to commit requires that consider apologies both as performance and as political action. While there remain significant questions regarding the practice of political apology – in particular, its relationship to practices of reparation, forgiveness and reconciliation – this approach can provide a framework with which to best consider them.
|Keywords||Political Apologies Canada Australia Indigenous Peoples Historical Injustice Colonialism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mihaela Mihai (2013). When the State Says “Sorry”: State Apologies as Exemplary Political Judgments. Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (2):200-220.
Mathias Thaler (2012). Just Pretending: Political Apologies for Historical Injustice and Vice's Tribute to Virtue. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (3):259-278.
Luc Bovens (2008). Apologies. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):219-239.
Ernesto Verdeja (2010). Official Apologies in the Aftermath of Political Violence. Metaphilosophy 41 (4):563-581.
Nick Smith (2008). Commentary: The Penitent and the Penitentiary: Questions Regarding Apologies in Criminal Law. Criminal Justice Ethics 27 (2):2-85.
Nick Smith (2005). The Categorical Apology. Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (4):473–496.
Glen Pettigrove & Jordan Collins (2011). Apologizing for Who I Am. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (2):137-150.
Kathleen Gill (2007). Moral Functions of Public Apologies. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 1:105-110.
Lawrence Souder (2010). A Rhetorical Analysis of Apologies for Scientific Misconduct: Do They Really Mean It? Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (1):175-184.
Megan Jane Davis, Indigenous Rights and the Constitution: Making the Case for Constitutional Reform.
Glen Pettigrove (2010). I Was Wrong. Social Theory and Practice 36 (2):355-362.
Terry Dunbar & Margaret Scrimgeour (2006). Ethics in Indigenous Research – Connecting with Community. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 3 (3):179-185.
Added to index2010-09-21
Total downloads14 ( #112,869 of 1,099,048 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #11,883 of 1,099,048 )
How can I increase my downloads?