Philosophia 25 (1-4):33-49 (1993)
I have argued that forgiveness paradigmatically involves overcoming moral anger, of which resentment is the central case. I have argued, as well, that forgiveness may involve overcoming any form of anger so long as the belief that you have been wrongfully harmed is partially constitutive of it, and that overcoming other negative emotions caused by a wrongdoer's misdeed may, given appropriate qualifications, count as forgiveness. Those qualifications indicate, however, significant differences between moral anger and other negative emotions; differences which must be taken into account when determining whether overcoming negative emotions other than moral anger count as forgiveness. I have proposed, too, that forgiveness requires neither overcoming all negative feelings (other than moral anger) nor the judgment that the offender is a wrongdoer.I must acknowledge that my analysis is incomplete, focusing as it does on the forgiver rather than on the person forgiven. After all, there are two sides to forgiveness. Not all forgiving involves a struggle to overcome negative feelings; sometimes it is a social transaction of a more casual sort that is effected by the simple speech act “I forgive you.” My analysis is incomplete insofar as it treats exclusively of forgiveness as a process and fails to offer an analysis of forgiveness as an act. Finally, a complete theory of forgiveness requires an account of the conditions under which forgiveness qualifies as a moral virtue, and such an account is beyond the scope of this essay. Though I have not offered a complete theory of forgiveness, my effort to clarify a dimension of what is involved in a common type of forgiveness may clear the way for answering related questions about it, and thereby lead to a fuller account of forgiveness as a moral phenomenon
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Ethics Philosophy of Language Philosophy of Mind Philosophy of Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Reprint years||1997, 2006|
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Citations of this work BETA
Wiping the Slate Clean: The Heart of Forgiveness.Lucy Allais - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (1):33–68.
The Economic Model of Forgiveness.Brandon Warmke - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (4):570-589.
Punishment and Forgiveness.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2016 - In Jonathan Jacobs & Jonathan Jackson (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics. Routledge. pp. 203-216.
Two Arguments Against the Punishment-Forbearance Account of Forgiveness.Brandon Warmke - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):915-920.
Forgiveness, Commemoration, and Restorative Justice: The Role of Moral Emotions.Jeffrey Blustein - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (4):582-617.
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