Forgiveness and the holocaust

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (2):147-165 (2002)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper considers whether we have any reason to forgive the perpetrators of the most terrible atrocities, such as the Holocaust. On the face of it, we do not have reason to forgive in such cases. But on examination, the principal arguments against forgiveness do not turn out to be persuasive. Two considerations in favour of forgiveness are canvassed: the presence of rational agency in the perpetrators, and the common human nature which they share with us. It is argued that the presence of rational agency does not generate a reason to forgive. However, our common human nature may be sufficient to provide such a reason, and evidence for its general reason-giving power can be seen in phenomena such as vicarious shame, and the moral significance which we attach to the notion of crimes against humanity. A reason for forgiveness based on common human nature will not be a strong one, but a weak reason still has some force.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,389

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Forgiveness and its Healing Effects in the Face of Suffering and Death.Mariano Crespo - 2007 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (4):579-594.
Forgiveness Without Blame.Espen Gamlund - 2011 - In Christel Fricke (ed.), The Ethics of Forgiveness. Routledge.
Supererogatory Forgiveness.Espen Gamlund - 2010 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (6):540-564.
Owning Up and Lowering Down: The Power of Apology.Adrienne M. Martin - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (10):534-553.
Forgiveness Without Apology: Defending Unconditional Forgiveness.Karen D. Hoffman - 2008 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:135-151.
Forgiveness and Moral Solidarity.Alice MacLachlan - 2008 - In Stephen Bloch-Shulman & David White (eds.), Forgiveness: Probing the Boundaries. Inter-Disciplinary Press.
In Defence of Unconditional Forgiveness.Eve Garrard & David McNaughton - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):39–60.
Moral Bystanders and the Virtue of Forgiveness.Linda Radzik - 2010 - In Christopher R. Allers & Marieke Smit (eds.), Forgiveness in Perspective. Rodopi. pp. 66--69.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
75 (#159,189)

6 months
3 (#209,676)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

In Defence of Unconditional Forgiveness.Eve Garrard & David McNaughton - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):39–60.
Forgiving While Punishing.Luke Russell - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):704-718.
Supererogatory Forgiveness.Espen Gamlund - 2010 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (6):540-564.
Forgiveness and Moral Solidarity.Alice MacLachlan - 2008 - In Stephen Bloch-Shulman & David White (eds.), Forgiveness: Probing the Boundaries. Inter-Disciplinary Press.
The Asymmetry Between Apology and Forgiveness.Marguerite La Caze - 2006 - Contemporary Political Theory 5 (4):447-468.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references