Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Wrongdoing and Forgiveness

  • Joanna North (a1)

Extract

To forgive a person for a wrong he has done has often been valued as morally good and as indicative of a benevolent and merciful character. But while forgiveness has been recognized as valuable its nature as a moral response has largely been ignored by modern moral philosophers who work outside the confines of a religious context.1 Where it has been discussed, forgiveness has been thought particularly difficult to define, and some have thought the forgiving response paradoxical or even impossible. I shall discuss some of these difficulties and suggest firstly that the value of forgiveness lies in the fact that it essentially requires a recognition of the wrongdoer's responsibility for his action, and secondly that forgiveness typically involves an effort on the part of the one wronged: a conscious attempt to improve oneself in relation to the wrongdoer.

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 Two notable exceptions are Aurel, Kolnai's ‘Forgiveness’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 19731974, and R. S., Downie's ‘Forgiveness’ in Philosophical Quarterly, 15, No. 59, 1965.

2 St Luke, 15, xxiv.

3 Anne C., Minas deals with some of these in her article ‘God and Forgiveness’, Philosophical Quarterly, 25, No. 99, 1975.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed