Format of Original
Journal of Religious Ethics
Original Item ID
It is widely accepted that only the victim of a wrong can forgive that wrong. Several philosophers have recently defended “third-party forgiveness,” the scenario in which A, who is not the victim of a wrong in any sense, forgives B for a wrong B did to C. Focusing on Glen Pettigrove's argument for third-party forgiveness, I will defend the victim's unique standing to forgive, by appealing to the fact that in forgiving, victims must absorb severe and inescapable costs of distinctive kinds, a plight that third parties do not share. There are, nonetheless, significant, even essential, roles played by third parties in making forgiveness possible, reasonable, or valuable for victims of serious wrongs. I take a closer look at the links between victims, wrongdoers, resentment, and forgiveness in showing why the victim alone can forgive.
Walker, Margaret Urban, "Third Parties and the Social Scaffolding of Forgiveness" (2013). Philosophy Faculty Research and Publications. 363.