Authors
Miranda Fricker
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
Our ideas about forgiveness seem to oscillate between idealization and scepticism. How should we make sense of this apparent conflict? This paper argues that we should learn something from each, seeing these views as representing opposing moments in a perennial and well-grounded moral ambivalence towards forgiveness. Once we are correctly positioned, we shall see an aspect of forgiveness that recommends precisely this ambivalence. For what will come into view will be certain key psychological mechanisms of moral-epistemic influence – other-addressed and self-addressed mechanisms of moral social construction – that enable forgiveness to function well when it is well-functioning, but which are also intrinsically prone to deterioration into one or another form of bad faith. Thus forgiveness is revealed as necessarily containing seeds of its own corruption, showing ambivalence to be a generically appropriate attitude. Moreover, it is emphasized that where forgiver and forgiven are relating to one another in the context of asymmetries of social power, the practice of forgiveness is likely to be further compromised, notably increasing the risk of negative influence on the moral-epistemic states of either the forgiver or the forgiven, or both.
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DOI 10.1017/s1358246118000590
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References found in this work BETA

Trust as an Affective Attitude.Karen Jones - 1996 - Ethics 107 (1):4-25.
Deciding to Trust, Coming to Believe.Richard Holton - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):63 – 76.
Articulating an Uncompromising Forgiveness.Pamela Hieronymi - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):529-555.
Wiping the Slate Clean: The Heart of Forgiveness.Lucy Allais - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (1):33–68.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Communication Argument and the Pluralist Challenge.Shawn Tinghao Wang - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (5):384-399.

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