“On Forgiveness” with Charles L. Griswold


What is forgiveness? Why and when should we forgive? Does forgiving run counter to justice? Is forgiveness purely a religious concept? How does it connect to philosophical conceptions of duty and community? These questions direct the Easter Sunday episode of Why? with a special emphasis on how a philosopher’s research leads him or her to new and related topics.

Charles L. Griswold, Jr. is a historian of philosophy whose research has spanned the history of philosophy itself. Originally a scholar of ancient philosophy, Griswold made his reputation with an exploration of Plato’s account of self-knowledge. He continued this theme of self-examination through an investigation of the moral theories of enlightenment philosopher Adam Smith, a thinker who recognized that in order to know oneself, one has to understand and internalize the perspectives of others. Forgiveness is the next step of this journey. Join Griswold as he connects ancient accounts of what it means to forgive with the most modern accounts of political recognition and the place of apology in this most contemporary of issues.

Charles L. Griswold, Jr. is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University and the former chair of his department. He has taught at Howard University, and held visiting appointments at the Université de Paris-Panthéon-Sorbonne, Yale University, and Georgetown University. In 1995, he won the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Boston University Honors Program of the College of Arts and Sciences. His most recent book Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration has attracted the attention of some of the most notable minds in moral debate today, including Ellie Wiesel who writes, “Rarely has a philosopher offered his fervent students and readers such depth, knowledge and sensitivity as Charles Griswold has done in this volume that deals with one of the most urgent topics facing humankind today.”

Read Charles’s article from the New York Times by clicking here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/on-forgiveness/

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