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Document Details :

Title: Can You Forgive Me?
Author(s): KRONQVIST, Camilla
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 26    Issue: 2   Date: 2019   
Pages: 299-322
DOI: 10.2143/EP.26.2.3286752

Abstract :
A standard philosophical question of forgiveness is when and how forgiveness can take place, without altering the fact that a wrong was done that justifies resentment, and without equating forgiveness with excusing, condoning, accepting, understanding or forgetting. This article asks whether significant aspects of what we ordinarily understand as forgiveness fall out of the picture if these conditions are required to be met to be able to speak of forgiving. By elaborating on the four words of the title, it shows that too much emphasis is put on whether we can forgive and in determining what forgiveness is, at the expense of elucidating the moral dynamic between ‘I’ and ‘you’ when the need for forgiveness arise. The difficulty of forgiveness, it is argued, does not lie in determining whether this or that case is truly a form of forgiveness, but in actually forgiving you, or in realising that I myself need to be forgiven. Rather than providing an account of the conditions under which forgiveness makes sense, this provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding of what sense our life makes in the light of forgiveness. In particular the discussion reveals how certain experiences of you have the power to transform and deepen my understanding of forgiveness.

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