Analysis 79 (2):242-251 (2019)

Abstract
When we forgive, we do so for reasons. One challenge for forgiveness theorists is to explain which reasons are reasons to forgive and which are not. This paper argues that we forgive in response to a perceived change of heart on the part of the offender. The argument proceeds in four steps. First, I show that we forgive for reasons. Second, I argue that forgiveness requires the right kind of reason. Third, I show that these two points explain a common distinction between forgiving and letting go and, in doing so, solve a problem facing many accounts of forgiveness. Finally, I consider candidate reasons to forgive and argue that all of them are either the wrong kind of reason or are instances of a more general reason of the right kind, namely, a perceived change of heart.
Keywords forgiveness  reasons  right kinds of reasons  letting go  excuse
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DOI 10.1093/analys/any017
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References found in this work BETA

The Wrong Kind of Reason.Pamela Hieronymi - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (9):437 - 457.
1. Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - In John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (eds.), Perspectives on Moral Responsibility. Cornell University Press. pp. 1-25.

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Citations of this work BETA

When Forgiveness Comes Easy.Julius Schönherr - 2019 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (4):513-528.
Forgiving, Committing, and Un‐Forgiving.Monique Wonderly - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Oppression, Forgiveness, and Ceasing to Blame.Per-Erik Milam & Luke Brunning - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 14 (2).

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