Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits
We have all been victims of wrongdoing. Forgiving that wrongdoing is one of the staples of current pop psychology dogma; it is seen as a universal prescription for moral and mental health in the self-help and recovery section of bookstores. At the same time, personal vindictiveness as a rule is seen as irrational and immoral. In many ways, our thinking on these issues is deeply inconsistent; we value forgiveness yet at the same time now use victim-impact statements to argue for harsher penalties for criminals. Do we have a right to hate others for what they have done to us? The distinguished philosopher and law professor Jeffrie Murphy is a skeptic when it comes to our views on both emotions. In this short and accessible book, he proposes that vindictive emotions (anger, resentment, and the desire for revenge) actually deserve a more legitimate place in our emotional, social, and legal lives than we currently recognize, while forgiveness deserves to be more selectively granted. Murphy grounds his views on careful analysis of the nature of forgiveness, a subtle understanding of the psychology of anger and resentment, and a fine appreciation of the ethical issues of self-respect and self-defense. He also uses accessible examples from law, literature, and religion to make his points. Providing a nuanced approach to a proper understanding of the place of our strongest emotions in moral, political, and personal life, and using lucid, easily understood prose, this volume is a classic example of philosophical thinking applied to a thorny, everyday problem.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Responding to Evil
What Is Forgiveness?
Two Cheers forVindictiveness
Vindictiveness and the Law
Forgiveness as a Virtue
Repentance Punishment and Mercy
Other editions - View all
ahuost argued argument Aurel Kolnai belief called capital punishment chapter character retributivism Christian claim concept consider counseling course criminal law criminal punishment criminal sentencing danger deep character degree desert deterrence discussion E. L. Doctorow emotions evil example explore fear feel grievance guilt harm hasty Hotel New Hampshire human hurt immorality infliction irrational ishment issues J. L. Austin Jean Hampton justice justified Kant Karen Horney kind least legitimate luck ment merely Michael Kohlhaas moral hatred moral rebirth murder ness NewYork Nietzsche overcome paternalistic theory pentance perhaps Peter Strawson philosophical prison provoke repentance rape rational reasons reconciliation reintegration relevant repentance respect response retribution retributivism revenge role Scalia and White secular seek self-forgiveness self-hatred self-loathing self-respect sense simply sincere repentance social sometimes story suffering tance thing tion Tlingit University Press unrepentant vengeance victim impact statements vindictive passions vindictive person virtue of forgiveness Walter Kaufmann wrong wrongdoer