Forgiveness

What is forgiveness? What is "accepting an apology"? What does it mean to "forgive and forget"? What is "holding a grudge"? What is "letting something go"?

This page is a stub, created on 2020-04-07. Its contents are notes on the issues and angles I want to address about this topic.


What is forgiveness? What is "accepting an apology"? What does it mean to "forgive and forget"? What is "holding a grudge"? What is "letting something go"?

I want to take a look at these questions from two complementary perspectives: philosophical and psychological. Philosophically, I want to examine moral agency and moral accountability, especially through an egoistic (Objectivist) lens. Psychologically, I want to examine the related issues of performative/ritualistic behaviors (eg, "I'm sorry.", "That's okay.", "I accept your apology.", apology symmetry), the cognitive costs and benefits of rumination versus evasion, and wholeheartedness/authenticity.

Very relevant Unlocking Us (on Spotify) episodes, Harriet Lerner and Brené - I'm Sorry: How To Apologize & Why It Matters (Parts 1 and 2 of 2):

Related to apologizing, I want to explore some topics related to my personal growth:

Being able to apologize as readily as I can now is not something that came naturally to me. I think the operative factors earlier in my life were feelings of righteous indignation and equity. But over time, the logic of "the supreme sanctity of the truth" won out. Nowadays, it's very easy for me to accept responsibility for anything I've done wrong, because that's the truth. And it has nothing to do with whether anybody else is able to apologize for anything else. Ironically, there's a very narrow and immediate way in which this isn't about the other person or my caring about them or the effect of my apology on them; it's just a matter of personal accountability, an allegiance to reality, and what kind of person I want to be, justice and others' desert be damned. (In reality, these concerns are harmonious, but there's an interesting question of what's alive for me in a given moment of apologizing.)