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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. Amnesties and Forgiveness.Patrick Lenta - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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