The Forgiveness We Speak: The Illocutionary Force of Forgiving

Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (3):371-392 (2004)
What are we doing when we say "I forgive you"? This paper employs Austin's notion of illocutionary force to analyze three different kinds of acts in which we might engage when saying "I forgive you." We might use it (1) to disclose an emotional condition, (2) to declare a debt cancelled, or (3) to commit ourselves to a future course of action. I suggest that the forgiving utterances we seek possess qualities of both the first and the third types of speech-acts.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0038-4283
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2004.tb01938.x
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Brandon Warmke (2016). The Normative Significance of Forgiveness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):1-17.
Glen Pettigrove (2006). Hannah Arendt and Collective Forgiving. Journal of Social Philosophy 37 (4):483–500.
Glen Pettigrove (2007). Forgiveness and Interpretation. Journal of Religious Ethics 35 (3):429-452.
Glen Pettigrove (2012). Forgiveness Without God? Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (3):518-544.

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