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FORGIVENESS, COMMEMORATION, AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: THE ROLE OF MORAL EMOTIONS

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Abstract:

Forgiveness of wrongdoing in response to public apology and amends making seems, on the face of it, to leave little room for the continued commemoration of wrongdoing. This rests on a misunderstanding of forgiveness, however, and we can explain why there need be no incompatibility between them. To do this, I emphasize the role of what I call nonangry negative moral emotions in constituting memories of wrongdoing. Memories so constituted can persist after forgiveness and have important moral functions, and commemorations can elicit these emotions to preserve memories of this sort. Moreover, commemorations can be a restorative justice practice that promotes reconciliation, but only on condition that the memories they preserve are constituted by nonangry negative, not retributive, emotions.
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Keywords: angry moral emotions; apology; commemorative ceremonies; forgiveness; nonangry moral emotions; protest; reconciliation; restorative justice; self-respect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, City College, City University of New York, North Academic Center, Room 5/145A, 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, USA, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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