Philosophia 45 (4):1785-1802 (2017)

Cristina Roadevin
University of Sheffield
I start by presenting an intuitively appealing account of forgiveness, ‘the insult account’, which nicely explains the cycle from wrongdoing to forgiveness. We need to respond to wrongdoing by blaming our offenders because they insult us with their actions, 529–55, 2001; Hampton 1988a, b). How can wrongdoing be overcome? Either by the retraction of the insult or by taking necessary steps to correct for the wrong done. Once the insult has been retracted, usually by apology or remorse, forgiveness can come about. Martin The Journal of Philosophy, 107, 534–53, has recently criticized this promising account of forgiveness. My aim here is to defend an improved version of the ‘insult account’. I propose an account of earned forgiveness through apology, which shares features with the ‘insult account’ criticized by Martin, but also improves upon problems found in the ‘insult account’. This new account will successfully solve the puzzle of forgiveness. Drawing on Bovens’ account of apologies, I argue that apologies uniquely earn the wrongdoer’s forgiveness. I finally address a concern about the relation between apologies and forgiveness, recently raised by Hallich Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 16, 999–1017,. I argue that my expressive view of what the function of apologies is will answer his skepticism about apologies.
Keywords forgiveness  apology  resentment
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-017-9868-2
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Is There a Right to Be Forgiven?Luke Maring - 2020 - Philosophia (3):1-15.
Accepting Forgiveness.Jeffrey S. Helmreich - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-25.

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