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The Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law is delighted to invite Professor Dana Nelkin (University of California San Diego) to deliver the second lecture of the 2022/23 Series in Practical Agency.



Changing the Normative Landscape: Forgiveness and Letting Go



Forgiveness is often distinguished from other ways of eliminating (or reducing) blame, such as letting go. In this paper, I focus on a conception of forgiveness as normative landscape change (alteration of the rights and obligations of relevant parties), and explore the distinction between forgiveness, so understood, and letting go, highlighting its explanatory power and comparing the picture to a distinction between letting go and forgiveness where the focus is primarily on a kind of attitude change (see, for example, Bruning and Milam 2022). I conclude by comparing the implications of both forgiveness and letting go for other phenomena we care about such as reconciliation and trust.


Speaker Bio:

Dana Kay Nelkin (Ph.D. UCLA) is a Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. Her areas of research include moral psychology, ethics, bioethics, and philosophy of law. She is the author of Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility (Oxford University Press), and a number of articles on a variety of topics, including self-deception, friendship, the lottery paradox, psychopathy, forgiveness, and praise and blame. She is also a co-editor of the The Ethics and Law of Omissions, The Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility, and Forgiveness: New Essays. Her work in moral psychology includes participation in an interdisciplinary research collaboration of philosophers and psychologists, The Moral Judgements Project.

At this event

Professor Massimo Renzo, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London.

Professor of Politics, Philosophy & Law

Event details

SW1.17 (Ante Room), The Dickson Poon School of Law, Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS