David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (3):260-290 (2011)
This work aims to identify the constituents of forgiveness in terms of the forgiver's beliefs and motivating goals. After addressing the antecedents of forgiveness—a perceived wrong—and distinguishing the notion of mere harm from that of offense, we describe the victim's typical retributive reactions—revenge and resentment—and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Then we focus on the forgiver's mind-set, pointing to the relationship between forgiveness and acceptance of the wrong, addressing the forgiver's motivating goals, and discussing both their self-interested and altruistic implications. In so doing we also discuss the role of the forgiver's positive feelings towards the offender, arguing that, however important, they are unnecessary to forgiveness. We finally identify two kinds of forgiveness—conditional and unconditional—suggesting that they are grounded on different notions of “worth.”
|Keywords||perceived wrong resentment forgiveness acceptance empathic feelings|
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References found in this work BETA
Robert A. Baron (1974). Threatened Retaliation as an Inhibitor of Human Aggression: Mediating Effects of the Instrumental Value of Aggression. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 3 (3):217-219.
Robert D. Enright, Elizabeth A. Gassin & Ching‐Ru Wu (1992). Forgiveness: A Developmental View. Journal of Moral Education 21 (2):99-114.
Nico H. Frijda (1986). The Emotions. Cambridge University Press.
Margaret R. Holmgren (1993). Forgiveness and the Intrinsic Value of Persons. American Philosophical Quarterly 30 (4):341 - 352.
Immanuel Kant (1785/2002). Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Oxford University Press.
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