Forgiveness and mercy

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-K024-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2011
Retrieved February 20, 2019, from

References and further reading

  • Adams, M. M. (1991) ‘Forgiveness: A Christian Model’, Faith and Philosophy 8 (3): 277–304.

    (Criticizes the work of Jeffrie Murphy and others who have argued that forgiveness may be incompatible with self-respect.)

  • Brudholm, T. (2008) Resentment’s Virtue: Jean Améry and the Refusal to Forgive, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

    (Argues that a refusal to forgive atrocities can be both rational and moral.)

  • Butler, J. (1722) Sermons, Oxford: Clarendon Press,1897.

    (Sermon VIII, ‘Upon Resentment’, and Sermon IX, ‘Upon Forgiveness of Injuries’, present the essence of Butler’s account of forgiveness.)

  • Calhoun, C. (1992),‘Changing One’s Heart’, Ethics 103: 76–96.

    (Incisive critique of Murphy’s early work on forgiveness and illuminating examination of forgiveness in the context of Margaret Atwood’s novel Life before Man.)

  • Card, C. (1972) ‘On Mercy’, Philosophical Review 81: 182–207.

    (Argues that mercy is a part of justice (on a sophisticated theory of justice) and not an autonomous moral virtue.)

  • Griswold, C. (2007) Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Builds upon and goes beyond previous philosophical work on forgiveness.)

  • Hill, T. E., Jr (1973) ‘Servility and Self-respect’, Monist 57: 87–104.

    (Argues, on Kantian grounds of duty to self, that servility is a moral vice.)

  • Kant, I. (1797) The Metaphysics of Morals, trans. M. Gregor, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1991, 140–145, 168–169.

    (Develops Kant’s theory of justice and employs it to defend retributive punishment and to oppose pardons for those convicted of crime.)

  • Kolnai, A. (1973ߝ4) ‘Forgiveness’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74: 91–106.

    (Argues that forgiveness can be a virtue only if it does not involve complicity in wrongdoing.)

  • Minow, M. (1999) Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence, Boston: Beacon Press.

    (Explores the way in which the concepts of forgiveness and mercy play out in situations of transitional justice, with particular emphasis on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.)

  • Moore, K. D. (1989) Pardons: Justice, Mercy, and the Public Interest, Oxford: Oxford University.

    (Presents, in a generally Kantian framework, a theory of when legal pardons may be justified.)

  • Murphy, J. G. and Hampton, J. (1988) Forgiveness and Mercy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Hampton’s two chapters seek to develop, with philosophical rigour, a Christian defence of forgiveness and mercy, while Murphy’s three chapters explore the sceptical case against the claim that forgiveness and mercy are virtues.)

  • Murphy, J. G. (2003) Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (Expands, with considerable modification and with legal applications, the ideas expressed in Forgiveness and Mercy.)

  • Murphy, J. G. (2007) ‘Remorse, Apology, and Mercy’, Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 4: 423–453.

    (Explores the current ‘culture of apology’ that has rendered the apology ritual generally highly suspect and expresses scepticism about the use of apology as a ground for sentence reduction in criminal law, but less scepticism about its use in pardon and clemency.)

  • Murphy, J. G. (2009) ‘The Case of Dostoevsky’s General: Some Ruminations on Forgiving the Unforgivable’, Monist 92 (4): 556–582.

    (Explores the concepts of unforgivable injuries and unforgivable people.)

  • Newman, L. E. (1987) ‘The Quality of Mercy: On the Duty to Forgive in the Judaic Tradition’, Journal of Religious Ethics 15: 155–172.

    (Stresses the idea that, in the Judaic tradition, forgiveness is more a matter of community reintegration than purity of heart.)

  • Nietzsche, F. (1887) On the Genealogy of Morals, trans. W. Kaufmann, New York: Random House,1967.

    (Explores, among many other things, the destructive role that resentment (ressentiment) plays in the moral life. See, for example, pp. 36–9.)

  • Nussbaum, M. (1993) ‘Equity and Mercy’, Philosophy & Public Affairs 22 (2): 83–125.

    (Builds a case for mercy and empathetic individuation from Seneca’s essays ‘On Anger’ and ‘On Clemency’.)

  • Quinn, P. L. (1978) Divine Commands and Moral Requirements, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (Contains, in the last chapter, a fine discussion of Saint Anselm’s paradoxes of divine mercy.)

  • Thomas, L. (2003) ‘Forgiving the Unforgivable, Moral Philosophy and the Holocaust, ed. Eve Garrard and Geoffrey Scare, Burlington, VT: Ashgate Press, 201–230.

    (An attempt to understand the puzzling concept of the unforgivable and to explore the possible meaning and justification of forgiving wrongs that have been regarded as unforgivable.)

  • Twambley, P. (1976) ‘Mercy and Forgiveness’, Analysis 36: 84–90.

    (Introduces the distinction between the criminal law and private law models of mercy.)

  • Walker, M. U. (2006) Moral Repair: Reconstructing Moral Relations after Wrongdoing, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Argues that trust and hope are basic to forgiveness and reconciliation, using political as well as individual examples.)

Citing this article:
Murphy, Jeffrie G.. Bibliography. Forgiveness and mercy, 2011, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-K024-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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