The hardened heart: The moral dangers of not forgiving

Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (3):344–363 (2005)

Abstract

When writing on forgiveness, most authors focus on when it is appropriate to forgive and the role that the offender’s attitudes play in determining the appropriateness of forgiveness. In this paper I will take a different approach. Instead of examining when forgiveness may or may not be appropriate, I discuss the moral attitude displayed by being unforgiving. I argue that we have reason to strive for forgiveness based on the kind of moral outlook we deplore in those who wrong us, and that we strive to remove from our own moral worldview. Believing someone to be unforgivable can result in the adoption of aspects of the wrongdoer’s moral outlook and so forgiveness is worth attempting for reasons unconnected to the wrongdoer’s attitudes: reasons that arise from the kinds of moral agents we strive to be.

Download options

PhilArchive

External links

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

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
201 (#59,838)

6 months
13 (#60,105)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jessica Wolfendale
Marquette University

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Similar books and articles

Forgiveness: A Developmental View.Robert D. Enright, Elizabeth A. Gassin & Ching-Ru Wu - 1992 - Journal of Moral Education 21 (2):99-114.
Forgiving and Hoping.David T. Ozar - 2008 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:163-172.
Moral Anger, Forgiving, and Condoning.Paul M. Hughes - 1995 - Journal of Social Philosophy 26 (1):103-118.
Business Ethics in Banking.C. F. Green - 1989 - Journal of Business Ethics 8 (8):631 - 634.
Hannah Arendt and Collective Forgiving.Glen Pettigrove - 2006 - Journal of Social Philosophy 37 (4):483–500.
Understanding, Excusing, Forgiving.Glen Pettigrove - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):156–175.