Forgiveness and Retribution: Responding to Wrongdoing argues that ultimately, forgiveness is always the appropriate response to wrongdoing. In recent decades, many philosophers have claimed that unless certain conditions are met, we should resent those who have wronged us personally and that criminal offenders deserve to be punished. Conversely, Margaret Holmgren posits that we should forgive those who have ill-treated us, but only after working through a process of addressing the wrong. Holmgren then reflects on the kinds of laws and social practices a properly forgiving society would adopt.
Margaret Holmgren is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Iowa State University. She co-edited Ethical Theory: A Concise Anthology (2000) with Heimir Giersson.
1. Introduction and overview; 2. The nature of forgiveness and resentment; 3. The moral analysis of the attitudes of forgiveness and resentment defined; 4. The moral analysis of the attitudes of self-forgiveness and self-condemnation; 5. Philosophical underpinnings of the basic attitudes: forgiveness, resentment, and the nature of persons; 6. Moral theory: justice and desert; 7. The public response to wrongdoing; 8. Restorative justice: the public response to wrongdoing and the process of addressing the wrong.