, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 457-473

First online:

Debating Forgiveness: A Reply to My Critics

  • Charles L. GriswoldAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Boston University Email author 

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In this essay I offer a detailed reply to three critics (whose commentaries are included in this issue of Philosophia) of my Forgiveness: a Philosophical Exploration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). The topics explored include the nature and limits of forgiveness; its unconditional or conditional character; the problem of distinguishing between central and marginal cases; the analysis of political apology; and questions of philosophical methodology.


Forgiveness Unconditional forgiveness Conditional forgiveness Paradigm cases Excuse Condonation Clemency Mercy Reconciliation Anger Moral ideals Virtue theory Secular and religious approaches Analytical strategy