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Recent issue  20/2 (2013)
(Bart Pattyn)
The Limits of Bernard Williams’s Critique of Political Moralism
(Edward Hall)
Inheriting Rights to Reparation. Compensatory Justice and the Passage of Time
(Daniel Butt)
The Philosophical and Ethical Significance of Humour. The Simpsons as Humorous Ethical Truth-Telling
(Dieter Declercq)
Defending the Guilty. A Moral Justification
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Ethical Perspectives
Issue : 17/4 (December - 2010)
Why Genuine Forgiveness must be Elective and Unconditional
Christopher Cowley
   Page : 556 - 579
  Charles Griswold’s 2007 book Forgiveness argues that genuine forgiveness of an unexcused, unjustified and unignored offence must be normgoverned and conditional. In the same way that gift-giving is governed by norms of appropriateness, so too is forgiveness; and the appropriateness of forgiving is centrally dependent on the offender’s repentance. In response, I claim that genuine forgiveness must always be elective and unconditional, and therefore genuinely unpredictable, no matter how much – or how little – the offender repents. I consider and reject one defence of unconditional forgiveness, that of Garrard and McNaughton. I then develop my own account, which builds on Bernard Williams’ notion of practical necessity.
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