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Colloquium – Monique Wonderly (UCSD) “On Un-Forgiving”

May 29, 2019 @ 3:10 pm - 5:00 pm

On Un-Forgiving

Theorists tend to conceive of forgiveness as “wiping the slate clean,” or something of the sort with respect to the wrongdoer’s moral infraction. This raises a puzzle concerning how (or whether) the relevant wrong can continue to play a role in the forgiver’s deliberations, attitudes, and practical orientation toward the wrongdoer once forgiveness has taken place. For example, consider an individual who forgives an agent for an act of wrongdoing only to later blame her again for that very same act. Is the relevant individual criticizable for reneging on her forgiveness? Is her later attitude evidence that she never really forgave in the first place? I explore these questions. In brief, I argue that sometimes, we can genuinely forgive a wrongdoer for a particular transgression and at some later time, justifiably un-forgive her for it. Though the act of un-forgiving is underexplored in the philosophical literature, I argue that attending to this phenomenon will not only illuminate an important, often overlooked aspect of moral life, but it will also help to inform extant accounts of the nature and ethics of forgiveness.

For more information on Monique Wonderly, please click here. 


May 29, 2019
3:10 pm - 5:00 pm


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