In this essay I offer a detailed reply to three critics (whose commentaries are included in this issue of Philosophia) of my Forgiveness: a Philosophical Exploration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). The topics explored include the nature and limits of forgiveness; its unconditional or conditional character; the problem of distinguishing between central and marginal cases; the analysis of political apology; and questions of philosophical methodology.
Nearly everyone has wronged another. Who among us has not longed to be forgiven? Nearly everyone has suffered the bitter injustice of wrongdoing. Who has not struggled to forgive? Charles Griswold has written the first comprehensive philosophical book on forgiveness in both its interpersonal and political contexts, as well as its relation to reconciliation. Having examined the place of forgiveness in ancient philosophy and in modern thought, he discusses what forgiveness is, what conditions the parties to it must meet, its (...) relation to revenge and hatred, when it is permissible and whether it is obligatory, and why it is a virtue. (shrink)
Abstract Despite the near universal desire for happiness, relatively little philosophy has been done to determine what ?happiness? means. In this paper I examine happiness (in the long?term sense), and argue that it is best understood in terms of tranquillity. This is not merely ?contentment.? Rather, happiness requires reflection?the kind of reflection characteristic of philosophy. Happiness is the product of correctly assessing its conditions, and like any assessment, one can be mistaken, and thus mistaken about (...) whether one is happy. That is, one needs a correct understanding of happiness in order to be happy. (shrink)
I analyze two related difficulties in "rep". X: the view that god created the ideas and the view that there is a 'one' for "every" 'many'. The former contradicts earlier books of the "rep"., The latter leads to absurdities (ideas of beds and tables). Following cherniss, i argue that the context (the criticism of poetry) helps to explain why these difficulties are generated. Nehamas' distinction between complete/incomplete properties is also discussed. Properly understood from the standpoint of the purpose and irony (...) of the context, the two difficulties reveal important dimensions of the poetry/philosophy quarrel. (shrink)
In part one of this essay i defend the thesis that the "greatest genera" of the "sophist" are not the metaphysical ideas of the earlier dialogues, and that the "participation" of these genera in each other is to be understood from a linguistic or logical, rather than metaphysical, perspective. the genera are like concepts, not essences. in part two i argue that the stranger's doctrine of the genera means that they cannot be unified, self-predicative, separable, and stable; the doctrine deteriorates (...) for reasons internal to itself. i suggest throughout that the stranger's philosophical orientation is more "subjectivistic" than that of (plato's) socrates; unlike the ideas, the genera are subject to the soul's intellectual motion and productive capacity. finally, i suggest that there is no convincing reason for holding that the stranger's views are superior to those of socrates. (shrink)