Forgiveness and the Limits of Duty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Can there be a duty to forgive those who have wronged us? According to a popular view amongst philosophers working on forgiveness the answer is no. Forgiveness, it is claimed, is always elective. This view is rejected by Gamlund (2010a; 2010b) who argues that duties to forgive do exist and then provides conditions that are relevant to determining whether forgiveness is obligatory or supererogatory. In this paper I will argue that the conditions that Gamlund provides do not provide a plausible account of the connection between forgiveness and duty. The problems I will raise against Gamlund’s view is a problem that faces any moral view that makes room for supererogation. I will then investigate whether the existing solutions to this problem provide a more plausible account of the connection between forgiveness and obligation. I will argue that the two most prominent solutions, The Favouring Reasons View and The Sacrifice View, produce implausible results when applied to the case of forgiveness. However, an alternative view, The Freedom View, can provide plausible results when applied to the case of forgiveness. This gives us defeasible reason to favour this as a general solution to The Problem of the Good Ought Tie-Up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-244
Number of pages20
JournalEtica & politica: rivista di filosofia
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2017

Fingerprint

obligation
Forgiveness
Supererogation
Philosopher
Obligation

Keywords

  • supererogation
  • moral obligation
  • forgiveness
  • ethics
  • moral philosophy

Cite this

@article{fdc0143d9c7c4f40a83f27e9cf7d71c4,
title = "Forgiveness and the Limits of Duty",
abstract = "Can there be a duty to forgive those who have wronged us? According to a popular view amongst philosophers working on forgiveness the answer is no. Forgiveness, it is claimed, is always elective. This view is rejected by Gamlund (2010a; 2010b) who argues that duties to forgive do exist and then provides conditions that are relevant to determining whether forgiveness is obligatory or supererogatory. In this paper I will argue that the conditions that Gamlund provides do not provide a plausible account of the connection between forgiveness and duty. The problems I will raise against Gamlund’s view is a problem that faces any moral view that makes room for supererogation. I will then investigate whether the existing solutions to this problem provide a more plausible account of the connection between forgiveness and obligation. I will argue that the two most prominent solutions, The Favouring Reasons View and The Sacrifice View, produce implausible results when applied to the case of forgiveness. However, an alternative view, The Freedom View, can provide plausible results when applied to the case of forgiveness. This gives us defeasible reason to favour this as a general solution to The Problem of the Good Ought Tie-Up.",
keywords = "supererogation, moral obligation, forgiveness, ethics, moral philosophy",
author = "Alfred Archer",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "31",
doi = "10077/14163",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
pages = "225--244",
journal = "Etica & politica: rivista di filosofia",
issn = "1825-5167",
publisher = "University of Trieste, Department of Philosophy",
number = "1",

}

Forgiveness and the Limits of Duty. / Archer, Alfred.

In: Etica & politica: rivista di filosofia, Vol. 19, No. 1, 31.03.2017, p. 225-244.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Forgiveness and the Limits of Duty

AU - Archer, Alfred

PY - 2017/3/31

Y1 - 2017/3/31

N2 - Can there be a duty to forgive those who have wronged us? According to a popular view amongst philosophers working on forgiveness the answer is no. Forgiveness, it is claimed, is always elective. This view is rejected by Gamlund (2010a; 2010b) who argues that duties to forgive do exist and then provides conditions that are relevant to determining whether forgiveness is obligatory or supererogatory. In this paper I will argue that the conditions that Gamlund provides do not provide a plausible account of the connection between forgiveness and duty. The problems I will raise against Gamlund’s view is a problem that faces any moral view that makes room for supererogation. I will then investigate whether the existing solutions to this problem provide a more plausible account of the connection between forgiveness and obligation. I will argue that the two most prominent solutions, The Favouring Reasons View and The Sacrifice View, produce implausible results when applied to the case of forgiveness. However, an alternative view, The Freedom View, can provide plausible results when applied to the case of forgiveness. This gives us defeasible reason to favour this as a general solution to The Problem of the Good Ought Tie-Up.

AB - Can there be a duty to forgive those who have wronged us? According to a popular view amongst philosophers working on forgiveness the answer is no. Forgiveness, it is claimed, is always elective. This view is rejected by Gamlund (2010a; 2010b) who argues that duties to forgive do exist and then provides conditions that are relevant to determining whether forgiveness is obligatory or supererogatory. In this paper I will argue that the conditions that Gamlund provides do not provide a plausible account of the connection between forgiveness and duty. The problems I will raise against Gamlund’s view is a problem that faces any moral view that makes room for supererogation. I will then investigate whether the existing solutions to this problem provide a more plausible account of the connection between forgiveness and obligation. I will argue that the two most prominent solutions, The Favouring Reasons View and The Sacrifice View, produce implausible results when applied to the case of forgiveness. However, an alternative view, The Freedom View, can provide plausible results when applied to the case of forgiveness. This gives us defeasible reason to favour this as a general solution to The Problem of the Good Ought Tie-Up.

KW - supererogation

KW - moral obligation

KW - forgiveness

KW - ethics

KW - moral philosophy

UR - http://www2.units.it/etica/2017_1/ARCHER.pdf

U2 - 10077/14163

DO - 10077/14163

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 225

EP - 244

JO - Etica & politica: rivista di filosofia

JF - Etica & politica: rivista di filosofia

SN - 1825-5167

IS - 1

ER -