This paper replies to the account of forgiveness developed in Griswold’s Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration . It defends the idea that “unilateral” forgiveness is the paradigm case of the virtue of forgiveness, rejecting Griswold’s claims that forgiveness is essentially a “dyadic” virtue, and that reconciliation of the wronged party with the wrongdoer is a defining element of forgiveness. Forgiveness is fundamentally a matter of being reconciled to the persistence of human wrongdoing, as expressed in particular instances. Reconciliation may well be (...) essential to some attempts at “political apology” for wide-scale wrongdoing. But then, contrary to some of Griswold’s claims, forgiveness will be central to many national projects of bringing about civic reconciliation. The paper also distinguishes between the project of seeking moral reconciliation from the project of seeking and granting political recognition for those who have been denied civic status. Contrary to Griswold’s view, the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial is best understood as a project of seeking and granting recognition, not as an attempt to produce civic reconciliation in response to the Vietnam War. (shrink)
Virginia Held's Feminist Morality defends the idea that it is possible to transform the "public" sphere by remaking it on the model of existing "private" relationships such as families. This paper challenges Held's optimism. It is argued that feminist moral inquiry can aid in transforming the public sphere only by showing just how much the allegedly "private" realms of families and personal relationships are shaped-and often misshapen-by public demands and concerns.