Self-forgiveness: A Case Study

Peter Goldie

in The Mess Inside

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199230730
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741340 | DOI:
Self-forgiveness: A Case Study

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Chapter 5 explores self-forgiveness. The notion of self-forgiveness — which many consider to be deeply suspect as if by a simple fiat one can forgive oneself for some past wrongdoing — can be illuminated by thinking of it in terms of the ways in which we engage in narrative thinking about our future. Self-forgiveness is shown to be not only coherent, but also something that is often needed for good ethical reasons (not just for reasons of self-interest). Properly understood, it is by no means as easily won as its critics would suppose; the elusiveness of closure again plays a part here. Finally the possibility of self-forgiveness is contrasted with the impossibility of self-pardon.

Keywords: self-forgiveness; self-pardon; narrative; closure; imagination; Griswold

Chapter.  7762 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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