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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates forgiveness through a phenomenological inflected analysis of its temporal constitution as an inter-subjective self-constitution. A central claim to phenomenological thinking is the recognition of temporality as fundamental to the constitution of human subjectivity. The intentionality of forgiveness directs the offender as its primary object in view of her past wrongdoing. The conjunction of repudiation and responsibility plays itself out along two intersecting distinctions: between act and self, and between the past and present/future. An interpretation of shame within the etiology of self-repudiation is then reported. The assumption of responsibility by the offender does not separate the past misconduct. Bitterness mobilises the offender to responsibility, and demands of the offender that he or she recognize and respect the victim. The offender accepts the burden of his or her past wrong into the compass of the person he or she is today and thus becomes the living questionability of his or her own wrongdoing.

Keywords: forgiveness, self-constitution, phenomenological thinking, human subjectivity, offender, repudiation, responsibility, shame, self-repudiation

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