David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (4):473–496 (2005)
Much of our private and public ethical discourse occurs in the giving, receiving, or demanding of an apology, yet we suffer deep confusion regarding what an apology actually is. Most of us have never made explicit precisely what we expect from a full apology and therefore apologizing has become a vague and clumsy ritual. Full apologies can be morally and emotionally powerful, but, as with most valuable things, frauds masquerade as the genuine article. These semblances of apologies often deceive and manipulate, and such duplicity is common between lovers, families, litigants, and nations. In response to this, I propose nine elements that an apology must satisfy in order to be considered categorical. I believe we have such a categorical apology in mind when we seek a full apology. The standards for a categorical apology are rigorous and precise, and I hope to disentangle the distinct elements of apologies. A categorical apology is a rare and burdensome act, and under certain circumstances full apologies may not be possible regardless of how badly we may desire them. While the leading social science accounts by Aaron Lazare and Nicolas Tavuchis aptly demonstrate how apologies lubricate reciprocally egoist relationships, such theories ultimately prove unsatisfying because apologies achieve their highest meaning as morally rich acts. Both Tavuchis and Lazare offer merely descriptive accounts when a prescriptive argument seems necessary. No philosopher, however, has ever devoted a monograph to the topic and only a handful of papers on apologies have appeared in philosophy journals.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Seth R. M. Lazar (2008). Corrective Justice and the Possibility of Rectification. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4):355 - 368.
Paul C. Snelling (2015). Who Can Blame Who for What and How in Responsibility for Health? Nursing Philosophy 16 (1):3-18.
Similar books and articles
Francesca Bartlett (2011). The Role of Apologies in Professional Discipline. Legal Ethics 14 (1):49-72.
Zenon Szablowinski (2011). Apology with and Without a Request for Forgiveness. Heythrop Journal 53 (5):731-741.
Glen Pettigrove & Jordan Collins (2011). Apologizing for Who I Am. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (2):137-150.
Alice MacLachlan (2013). Government Apologies to Indigenous Peoples. In C. Allen Speight & Alice MacLachlan (eds.), Justice, Responsibility and Reconciliation in the Wake of Conflict. Springer 183-204.
David P. Boyd (2011). Art and Artifice in Public Apologies. Journal of Business Ethics 104 (3):299-309.
Lawrence Souder (2010). A Rhetorical Analysis of Apologies for Scientific Misconduct: Do They Really Mean It? Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (1):175-184.
Luc Bovens (2008). Apologies. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):219-239.
Nick Smith (2008). I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies. Cambridge University Press.
Ernesto Verdeja (2010). Official Apologies in the Aftermath of Political Violence. Metaphilosophy 41 (4):563-581.
Adrienne M. Martin (2010). Owning Up and Lowering Down: The Power of Apology. Journal of Philosophy 107 (10):534-553.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads48 ( #90,370 of 1,911,401 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #455,910 of 1,911,401 )
How can I increase my downloads?