Is forgiving a duty? Not if it means to remit debts or rightful penalties. Instead, if pardoning denotes to cultivate a merciful character, oriented to cancel hate and rancor towards someone who has harmed us, it is possible to justify such attitude as a duty from the Kantian moral system. In the framework of “Metaphysics of Morals”, forgiving might be considered an imperfect duty. In this sense, it might be compatible with other duties, perfect and imperfect, such as enforcing justice or collaborating with that compliance. Distinguishing among forgiveness and impunity is a fundamental task in the context of transitional justice. This paper holds that forgiving is a duty that does not contradict justice.
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- Imperfect duties
- Metaphysics of Morals
- Perfect duties