Resentment and forgiveness in confucian thought

In this paper,1 I discuss a certain way of understanding resentment and forgiveness found in contemporary philosophical discussions. It understands resentment in terms of the notion of self-respect, and forgiveness in terms of the forswearing of resentment. 2 I will show that, while there are concepts akin to those of resentment and anger in early China, there is no concept close to that of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not idealized in Confucian thought, and an examination of why this is so helps highlight a certain ethical outlook distinctive of the Confucian tradition.


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