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The Philosophical Controversy over Political Forgiveness

In Paul van Tongeren, Neelke Doorn & Bas van Stokkom (eds.), Public Forgiveness in Post-Conflict Contexts. Intersentia. pp. 37-64 (2012)

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  1. Between the Ethics of Forgiveness and the Unforgivable: Reflections on Arendt’s Idea of Reconciliation in Politics.Rafał Wonicki - 2020 - Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 10 (1):27-40.
    The aim of the article is to examine the role that memory and oblivion, forgiveness and unforgiveness play in Hannah Arendt’s thought in relation to acts of violence in the political sphere. Political communities do not always decide to remember the crimes they have committed or the wrongs they have suffered, but neither can they always forget their mutual harms, even when there is already peace between them. Without striving to exhaust the entire subject matter of Arendt’s work, I would (...)
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  • Unilateral Forgiveness and the Task of Reconciliation.Jeremy Watkins - 2015 - Res Publica 21 (1):19-42.
    Although forgiveness is often taken to bear a close connection to the value of reconciliation, there is a good deal of scepticism about its role in situations where there is no consensus on the moral complexion of the past and no admission of guilt on the part of the perpetrator. This scepticism is typically rooted in the claims that forgiveness without perpetrator acknowledgement aggravates the risk of recidivism; yields a substandard and morally compromised form of political accommodation; and comes across (...)
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  • Repairing Broken Relations by Repairing Broken Treaties: Theorizing Post-Colonial States in Settler Colonies.Xavier Scott - 2018 - Studies in Social Justice 12 (2):388-405.
    This article examines the British colonial theft of Indigenous sovereignty and the particular obstacles that it presents to establishing just social relations between the colonizer and the colonized in settler states. In the first half, I argue that the particular nature of the crime of sovereign theft makes apologies and reparations unsuitable policy tools for reconciliation because Settler societies owe their very existence to the abrogation of Indigenous sovereignties. Instead, Settler states ought to return sovereignty to the land’s Indigenous peoples. (...)
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  • Healing Multiculturalism: Middle-Ground Liberal Forgiveness in a Diverse Public Realm.Monica Mookherjee - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1057-1078.
    This article examines debates about political forgiveness in liberal, pluralist societies. Although the concept of forgiveness is not usually taken up by liberals, I outline a plausible conception by exploring two recent approaches. The first, ‘unattached articulation’, concept requires no real emotional change on the forgiver’s part, but rather a form of civic restraint. In contrast, the second version highlights a strong form of empathy for perpetrators. In spite of their advantages, each concept proves too extreme. The problems are revealed (...)
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  • Oppression, Forgiveness, and Ceasing to Blame.Per-Erik Milam & Luke Brunning - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 14 (2).
    Wrongdoing is inescapable. We all do wrong and are wronged; and in response we often blame one another. But if blame is a defining feature of our social lives, so is ceasing to blame. We might excuse, justify, or forgive an offender; or simply let the offence go. Each mode of ceasing to blame is a social practice and each has characteristic norms that influence when and how we do it, as well as how it’s received. We argue that how (...)
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  • Amnesties and Forgiveness.Patrick Lenta - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
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  • Racialized Forgiveness.Myisha Cherry - 2021 - Hypatia 36 (4):583 - 597.
    This article introduces a concept that I refer to as racialized forgiveness. Cases that exemplify certain conditions that I take as paradigmatic of the problem of racialized forgiveness include instances in which: who is forgiven or not is determined by the race of the offender; praise and criticisms of forgiveness are determined by the race of the victim; and praise and criticisms of forgiveness are, at least implicitly, racially self-serving. I argue that this practice is morally objectionable because of its (...)
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  • La Etica de la Memoria: Una Perspectiva Kantiana (The Ethics of Memory: A Kantian Perspective).Paula Satne - 2021 - In José Luis Villacañas, Nuria Sánchez Madrid & Julia Muñoz (eds.), El ethos del republicanismo cosmopolita: perspectivas euroamericanas sobre Kant. Berlin, Germany: pp. 169-192.
    In this article, I address the issue of whether we have an obligation to remember past immoral actions. My central question is: do we have an obligation to remember past moral transgressions? I address this central question through three more specific questions. In the first section, I enquiry whether we have an obligation to remember our own past transgressions. In the second section, I ask whether we have an obligation to remember the wrongful actions that others have committed against ourselves. (...)
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  • Reasoning Like a State: Integration and the Limits of State Regret.Cindy Holder - 2014 - In Mihaela Mihai & Mathias Thaler (eds.), The Uses and Abuses of Apology. pp. 203-219.
    Are there wrongs for which states cannot apologise? In this chapter, I argue that the answer is 'Yes'. I begin with the simple observation that reasoning as a state official requires a conception of what officials do, and so a conception of what is - and is not - properly undertaken on behalf of the state. To act as an official, then, requires a theory of what happens in a well functioning state: it requires a 'normative theory of the state. (...)
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  • Remembrance Beyond Forgiveness.Paula Satne - 2022 - In Paula Satne & Krisanna M. Scheiter (eds.), Conflict and Resolution: The Ethics of Forgiveness, Revenge and Punishment. Switzerland: pp. 301-327.
    I argue that political forgiveness is sometimes, but not always, compatible with public commemoration of politically motivated wrongdoing. I start by endorsing the claim that commemorating serious past wrongdoing has moral value and imposes moral demands on key actors within post-conflict societies. I am concerned with active commemoration, that is, the deliberate acts of bringing victims and the wrong done to them to public attention. The main issue is whether political forgiveness requires forgetting and conversely whether remembrance can be an (...)
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  • Forgiveness and Moral Repair.Kathryn J. Norlock - 2022 - In Manuel Vargas & John M. Doris (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Forgiveness has enjoyed intense scholarly interest since the 1980s. I provide a historical overview, then identify themes in the literature, with an emphasis on those relevant to the moral psychology of forgiveness in the twenty-first century. I conclude with some attention to dual-process theories of moral reasoning in order to suggest that key debates in forgiveness are not at odds so much as they may be aligned with the different moral aims of moral and mental processes that differ in kind. (...)
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