The Heart of the Matter: Forgiveness as an Aesthetic Process

In Court Lewis (ed.), The Philosophy of Forgiveness - Volume II: New Dimensions of Forgiveness. Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press. pp. 47-70 (2016)
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This paper assesses the aesthetic components of the experience of forgiveness to develop a procedural model of the phenomenological process that negotiates cognitive judgments and understanding with emotional affective states. By bringing the Greek concepts of kalokagathia and eudaimonia into conversation with Ricoeur’s “solicitude,” I suggest that the impetus for engaging in the process of forgiveness is best understood narratively as the pursuit of a life well lived (in terms of beauty). Consequently, forgiveness is revealed as a technique for developing both an optimal personal and public character (in both moral and aesthetic terms).
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