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Overcoming indignation and moral hatred

Forgiveness, Resentment and Hatred

Jean Hampton

Forgiveness and Mercy, 1988

Research details

Type of paper: Theoretical/Conceptual/Review

Open Access: No


We are constantly exhorted to forgive those who wrong us. However, in Chapter 1 Jeffrie Murphy is sympathetic to the Nietzschean thought that forgiveness may, at least in certain circumstances, be harmful and wrong, a vice rather than a virtue. Like Bishop Butler, Murphy understands forgiveness as the overcoming of resentment. But the failure to resent a moral injury need not be a good thing: “If I count morally as much as anyone else (as surely I do), a failure to resent moral injuries done to me is a failure to care about the moral value incarnate in my own person (that I am, in Kantian language, an end in myself) and thus a failure to care about the very rules of morality.”