Forgiveness, resentment, and intentional agency

Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 19 (1):1-12 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Forgiveness is a highly personal act. Only a moral agent can forgive and the only proper object of forgiveness is a moral agent. One trait that is particularly characteristic of moral agents is selfevaluation. It is precisely this activity that is involved in a genuine act of forgiveness. According to Bishop Butler and several other contemporary philosophers, forgiveness involves foreswearing one’s resentment towards another person. Successful forgiveness, for these accounts, essentially involves overcoming oneself. An important part of this self-overcoming involves dissolving resentment. I argue that disowning resentment is a key step along the way towards successful forgiveness. In order to dissolve resentment, an individual must engage in self-reflection and selfevaluation. Frankfurt’s hierarchical theory of intentional agency provides a helpful conceptual apparatus for analyzing the act of forgiveness



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,168

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

‘Hate the sin but not the sinner’: forgiveness and condemnation.Kelly Hamilton - 2009 - South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):114-123.
What Christians Believe about Forgiveness.Stephen N. Williams - 2011 - Studies in Christian Ethics 24 (2):147-156.
Forgiveness and Standing.Kevin Zaragoza - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):604-621.
Can the Paradox of Forgiveness Be Dissolved?Oliver Hallich - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):999-1017.
Third Parties and the Social Scaffolding of Forgiveness.Margaret Urban Walker - 2013 - Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (3):495-512.
Forgiveness: A Cognitive-Motivational Anatomy.Maria Miceli & Cristiano Castelfranchi - 2011 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (3):260-290.
Forgiveness without God?Glen Pettigrove - 2012 - Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (3):518-544.
The Standing to Forgive.Glen Pettigrove - 2009 - The Monist 92 (4):583-603.
Forgiveness and Moral Reckoning.Howard Wettstein - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (3):445-455.
Forgiveness without Blame.Espen Gamlund - 2011 - In Christel Fricke (ed.), The Ethics of Forgiveness. Routledge.


Added to PP

28 (#571,976)

6 months
4 (#796,773)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references