Understanding, excusing, forgiving

Abstract
This paper explores the relation between understanding and forgiving. A number of people have argued against the old adage that to understand is to forgive, for in many instances understanding leads to excusing rather than forgiving. Nonetheless, there is an interesting connection to be found between forgiving and understanding. I identify three ways in which understanding can lead to forgiveness ofunexcused wrongdoing: It can do so by changing our interpretation of the actor, by changing our interpretation of the action, and by engaging self-Iove.
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