Volume 96, Issue 3, Summer 2022
The Charity Account of Forgiving
In this paper, I argue that the dominant contemporary accounts of forgiving do not capture what forgiving most centrally is. I spend the first parts of the paper trying to elucidate what it is that these accounts miss about forgiving, and to explain why I think they miss it. I spend the latter parts of the paper suggesting an alternative, which I call “the charity account.” This account draws much of its theoretical framing from the work of Thomas Aquinas, presenting forgiving as something importantly volitional and essentially loving.