Philosophy Program, Human Rights Project, and Hannah Arendt Center present:
Jill Stauffer Lecture
Political reconciliation from "it was" to "thus I willed it"
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Olin, Room 102
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Political reconciliation from "it was" to "thus I willed it":
Amery and Nietzsche on forgiveness and resentment.
What place does forgiveness have in law, and what role can it play in political reconciliation after mass violence?
The persistence of calls for forgiveness and reconciliation reflect our doubt that the traditional legal trial can do justice to survivors’ needs for testimony and reparation. Less attention has been devoted to the positive role resentment might play in reconciliation. Some theorists of forgiveness do argue that a person who feels no resentment, who forgives too easily, probably lacks self-respect. And yet discussions of reconciliation tend to valorize forgiveness and excoriate resentment. I’ll take that as a background as I revisit Jean Amery’s classic defense of resentment (and its complicated relationship with Nietzsche’sressentiment) with a view to theorizing what forgiveness in politics can be, what role resentment should play, and whether the demands of these two responses to violation necessarily contradict each other.