Philosophia 44 (4):1021-1028 (2016)

Authors
Geoffrey Scarre
Durham University
Abstract
Philosophical discussion of forgiveness has mainly focused on cases in which victims and offenders are known to each other. But it commonly happens that a victim brings an offender under a definite description but does not know to which individual this applies. I explore some of the conceptual and moral issues raised by the phenomenon of forgiveness in circumstances in which identification is incomplete, tentative or even mistaken. Among the conclusions reached are that correct and precise identification of the offending individual is not essential for forgiveness to take place; that an offender can, under certain strict conditions, be said to be forgiven by proxy where the victim has misidentified the offender and ‘forgiven’ the wrong person; and that proxy forgiveness of this sort is not subject to the objections commonly levelled against ‘proxy’ or ‘third-party forgiveness.’
Keywords Forgiveness  Proxy forgiveness  Identification  Wrongdoing  Definite description
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-016-9688-9
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References found in this work BETA

In Defence of Unconditional Forgiveness.Eve Garrard & David McNaughton - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):39–60.
The Standing to Forgive.Glen Pettigrove - 2009 - The Monist 92 (4):583-603.
Forgiveness and the Intrinsic Value of Persons.Margaret Holmgren - 1993 - American Philosophical Quarterly 30 (4):341 - 352.
Forgiveness and Ideals.William R. Neblett - 1974 - Mind 83 (330):269-275.
Third Parties and the Social Scaffolding of Forgiveness.Margaret Urban Walker - 2013 - Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (3):495-512.

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Citations of this work BETA

With or Without Repentance: A Buddhist Take on Forgiveness.Kent Lin - 2021 - Ethical Perspectives 28 (3):263-285.
Introduction: Forgiveness and Conflict.Paula Satne - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):999-1006.

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