The Nature and Limits of Forgiveness
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dissertation, Boston University (2008)
This dissertation is a philosophical investigation of forgiveness, in both interpersonal and political contexts. The aim of the dissertation is to demonstrate the merits of a broad, multidimensional account that remains faithful to the moral phenomenology of forgiving and being forgiven. Previous philosophical work has tended to see forgiveness primarily in terms of reactive attitudes: specifically, the struggle to overcome resentment. Yet defining forgiveness along these lines fails to do justice to common intuitions that, for example, forgiveness may be a gift offered to another, that it may be the remission of a debt or burden, or that it may 'wipe clean' a stain. Against standard philosophical models that limit its nature to a single dimension, the multidimensional model acknowledges its affective, cognitive and socially performative aspects. My investigation begins by considering characteristic features of forgiveness, the reasons we have to forgive, and its potential moral value. In my preliminary chapters, I present my case against narrow theories of forgiveness, particularly those that define it in terms of attitude alone. In Chapter Three, I situate forgiveness in the context of moral considerations, by analyzing its relationship to other important moral values (trust, compassion, and moral sensitivity) and by defending an account of elective forgiveness. My fourth chapter turns from the act of forgiving to the limits of forgiveness. I discuss forgiveness of hostile or absent wrongdoers, forgiveness of injuries to other people ('third party forgiveness'), and the 'unforgivable.' Some philosophical discussions of the unforgivable have confused what is conceptually unforgivable with what is morally or even empirically unforgivable. By disentangling these threads, I argue that there are, in principle at least, no moral limits on what we may forgive. My concluding chapter applies the multidimensional model of forgiveness to recent discussions of the topic in political philosophy. I argue that the multidimensional model can meaningfully connect a range of forgiving practices in a political context, from transitional justice to interpersonal reconciliation.
|Keywords||Forgiveness Third-Party Forgiveness Reconciliation Unforgivable Political Forgiveness|
|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
Zenon Szablowinski (2011). Self-Forgiveness and Forgiveness. Heythrop Journal 53 (4):678-689.
Alice MacLachlan (2012). The Philosophical Controversy Over Political Forgiveness. In Paul van Tongeren, Neelke Doorn & Bas van Stokkom (eds.), Public Forgiveness in Post-Conflict Contexts. Intersentia 37-64.
Espen Gamlund (2010). Supererogatory Forgiveness. Inquiry 53 (6):540-564.
Alice MacLachlan (2009). Practicing Imperfect Forgiveness. In Lisa Tessman (ed.), Feminist Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Theorizing the Non-Ideal. Springer 185--204.
Molly Andrews (2000). Forgiveness in Context. Journal of Moral Education 29 (1):75-86.
Charles L. Griswold (2007). Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration. Cambridge University Press.
Adam Morton (2010). Central and Marginal Forgiveness: Comments on Charles Griswold's Forgiveness; a Philosophical Exploration. Philosophia 38 (3):439-444.
Gaëlle Fiasse (2008). Forgiveness and the Refusal of Injustice. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:125-134.
Linda Radzik (2011). Hampton on Forgiveness. APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Law 10 (2):1-6.
Alice MacLachlan (2008). Forgiveness and Moral Solidarity. In Stephen Bloch-Shulman & David White (eds.), Forgiveness: Probing the Boundaries. Inter-Disciplinary Press
Chris Kaposy (2005). 'Analytic' Reading, 'Continental' Text: The Case of Derrida's 'on Forgiveness'. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (2):203 – 226.
Glen Pettigrove & Nigel Parsons (2010). Palestinian Political Forgiveness. Social Theory and Practice 36 (4):661-688.
Kate A. Moran (forthcoming). For Community's Sake: A (Self-Respecting) Kantian Account of Forgiveness. Proceedings of the XI International Kant-Kongress.
Michele Moody-Adams (2010). Reply to Griswold, Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration. [REVIEW] Philosophia 38 (3):429-437.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2010-09-21
Total downloads1 ( #771,651 of 1,793,064 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #463,661 of 1,793,064 )
How can I increase my downloads?