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Northern European Journal of Philosophy

Editor-in-Chief: Addis, Mark / Hämäläinen, Nora / Pedersen, Esther Oluffa / Westphal, Kenneth R.

Managing Editor: Pedersen, Esther Oluffa

Together with Niknam, Arman Teymouri

CiteScore 2018: 0.12

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.101
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.059

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Volume 15, Issue 2


Ethical Aspects of Self-Forgiveness

Espen Gamlund
Published Online: 2014-11-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sats-2014-0006


In this paper, I discuss some central ethical aspects of self-forgiveness. A first comparison is made between interpersonal forgiveness and self-forgiveness. It would seem that self-forgiveness follows much of the same structure as interpersonal forgiveness, although with some exceptions. One noticeable difference is that with self-forgiveness, the forgiver and forgiven is one and the same person. The main ethical question discussed is when self-forgiveness is morally permissible. I argue that self-forgiveness is only morally permissible when the wrongdoer acknowledges wrongdoing and display genuine repentance. He must also, insofar as possible, ask the victim for forgiveness before contemplating self-forgiveness.

Keywords: interpersonal forgiveness; repentance; self-forgiveness; the prerogative principle; wrongdoing

About the article

Published Online: 2014-11-23

Published in Print: 2014-11-01

Citation Information: SATS, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 237–256, ISSN (Online) 1869-7577, ISSN (Print) 1600-1974, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sats-2014-0006.

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