Luke Russell on Forgiveness

Luke Russell, Associate professor at the University of Sydney, was invited by the Gothenburg Resposnibility Project to give a public lecture on forgiveness.

The abstract of Russells talk

There are many reasons that might count in favour of forgiving a wrongdoer for wrong action ø, including the fact that wrongdoer feels remorse, apologises for ø, and reforms. It is also plausible that the wrongdoer's having suffered through being punished for ø gives the victim a reason to forgive; at least justice has been done, and a clear message has been sent, the victim might say. But what should we make of the fact that victims are more willing to forgive wrongdoers who undergo significant suffering that is not connected to punishment for ø? Do we have a reason to forgive a wrongdoer who, through misfortune, has "suffered enough"? Does the pity that we feel in such situations not merely compete with but undermine our reasons to resent the wrongdoer? Would it be irrational to forgive on these grounds?

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