Forgiveness, Forgetting, and Resentment
In response to Dean Martha Minow’s 2014 Brennan Center Jorde Symposium Lecture, Forgiveness, Law, and Justice, 103 Calif. L. Rev. 1615 (2015), available here.
First, I will draw some distinctions within the dimension of forgiveness, mapping in somewhat more detail the terrain Dean Minow has sketched for us. These distinctions are between what I will call chosen versus found forgiveness and between sentimental versus institutional forgiveness.
My second goal is to suggest that, in some cases, we may also want to avoid the dimension of forgiveness altogether and see the occasional value in what Friedrich Nietzsche called forgetfulness. Forgetfulness is a kind of radical forgiveness, but it is a kind outside the moral system in which forgiveness exists.