Forgiveness and the Multiple Functions of Anger

  • Antony G Aumann Northern Michigan University
  • Zac Cogley Northern Michigan University
Keywords: anger, communication, forgiveness, moral theory, sanction

Abstract

This paper defends an account of forgiveness that is sensitive to recent work on anger. Like others, we claim anger involves an appraisal, namely that someone has done something wrong. But, we add, anger has two further functions. First, anger communicates to the wrongdoer that her act has been appraised as wrong and demands she feel guilty. This function enables us to explain why apologies make it reasonable to forgo anger and forgive. Second, anger sanctions the wrongdoer for what she has done. This function allows us to explore the moral status of forgiveness, including why forgiveness is typically elective.

Author Biography

Zac Cogley, Northern Michigan University

Associate Professor of Philosophy

References

References

Adams, Gabrielle S. and M. Ena Inesi. 2016. “Impediments to Forgiveness: Victim and Transgressor Attributions of Intent and Guilt.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 111 (6): 866–81. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000070. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000070

Adams, Marilyn McCord. 1991. “Forgiveness: A Christian Model.” Faith and Philosophy 8 (3): 277–304. https://doi.org/10.5840/faithphil19918319. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5840/faithphil19918319

Allais, Lucy. 2008. “Wiping the Slate Clean: The Heart of Forgiveness.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 36 (1): 33–68. https://doi-org.nmu.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/j.1088-4963.2008.00123.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1088-4963.2008.00123.x

______. 2013. “Elective Forgiveness.” International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (5): 637–653. https://doi.org/10.1080/09672559.2013.767525. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09672559.2013.767525

Austin, J. L. 1975. How to Do Things with Words. Edited by J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisà. 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198245537.001.0001

Averill, James R. 1982. Anger and Aggression: An Essay on Emotion. New York: Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-5743-1

______. 1983. “Studies on Anger and Aggression: Implications for Theories of Emotion.” American Psychologist 38 (11): 1145–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.38.11.1145. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.38.11.1145

Baumeister, Roy F., Kathleen D. Vohs, C. Nathan DeWall, and Liqing Zhang. 2007. “How Emotion Shapes Behavior: Feedback, Anticipation, and Reflection, Rather than Direct Causation.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 11 (2): 167–203. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868307301033. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868307301033

Boonin, David. 2008. The Problem of Punishment. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511819254

Boss, Judith. 1997. “Throwing Pearls to the Swine: Women, Forgiveness, and the Unrepentant Abuser.” In Philosophical Perspectives on Power and Domination: Theories and Practices, edited by Laura Duhan Kaplan and Laurence F. Bove, 235–48. Atlanta, GA: Rodopi.

Butler, Joseph. 1900. “Fifteen Sermons Preached at the Rolls Chapel.” In The Works of Bishop Butler, edited by J.H. Bernard. Vol. 2. London: Macmillan.

Calhoun, Cheshire. 1989. “Responsibility and Reproach.” Ethics 99 (2): 389–406. https://doi.org/10.2307/2381440.

______. 1992. “Changing One’s Heart.” Ethics, 76–96. https://doi.org/10.1086/293471. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/293471

Card, Claudia. 2004. “The Atrocity Paradigm Revisited.” Hypatia 19 (4): 210–220. https://doi.org/10.1353/hyp.2004.0067. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/hyp.2004.0067

Cogley, Zac. 2013a. “Basic Desert of Reactive Emotions.” Philosophical Explorations 16 (2): 165–177. https://doi.org/10.1080/13869795.2013.787441. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13869795.2013.787441

______. 2013b. “The Three-Fold Significance of the Blaming Emotions.” Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 1: 205. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694853.003.0009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694853.003.0009

D’Arms, Justin and Daniel Jacobson. 2000. “The Moralistic Fallacy: On the ‘Appropriateness’ of Emotions.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1): 65–90. https://doi.org/10.2307/2653403. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2653403

Dillon, Robin S. 2001. “Self-Forgiveness and Self-Respect.” Ethics 112 (1): 53–83. https://doi.org/10.1086/339140. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/339140

Ekman, Paul. 1999. “Basic Emotions.” In Handbook of Cognition and Emotion, edited by Tim Dalgleish and Mick Power, 45–60. New York: Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/0470013494.ch3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/0470013494.ch3

Emerick, Barrett. 2017. “Forgiveness and Reconciliation.” In The Moral Psychology of Forgiveness, edited by Kathryn J. Norlock, 117–34. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Enright, Robert D. and Mary Jacqueline Song. 2017. “An Aristotelian Perspective on Forgiveness Education in Contentious World Regions.” In The Moral Psychology of Forgiveness, edited by Kathryn J. Norlock, 38–54. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Frye, Marilyn. 1983. “A Note on Anger.” In The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory, edited by Marilyn Frye, 84–94. Trumansburg, NY: Crossing.

Gamlund, Espen. 2010. “Supererogatory Forgiveness.” Inquiry 53 (6): 540–564. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020174X.2010.526320. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0020174X.2010.526320

Garcia, Ernesto V. 2011. “Bishop Butler on Forgiveness and Resentment.” Philosopher’s Imprint 11 (10): 1–19.

Garrard, Eve and David McNaughton. 2003. “In Defence of Unconditional Forgiveness.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103: 39–60. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0066-7372.2003.00063.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0066-7372.2003.00063.x

______. 2017. “Once More with Feeling.” In The Moral Psychology of Forgiveness, edited by Kathryn J. Norlock, 96–116. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Giner-Sorolla, Roger and Pablo Espinosa. 2010. “Social Cuing of Guilt by Anger and of Shame by Disgust.” Psychological Science, December. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610392925. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610392925

Griswold, Charles. 2007. Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration. Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511619168

Hampton, Jean. 1990. “Forgiveness, Resentment and Hatred.” In Forgiveness and Mercy, 35–87. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625121.004

Hieronymi, Pamela. 2001. “Articulating an Uncompromising Forgiveness.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3): 529–555. https://doi.org/10.2307/2653535. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2653535

Holmgren, Margaret R. 2012. Forgiveness and Retribution: Responding to Wrongdoing. Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139086165

Hughes, Paul M. 1993. “What Is Involved in Forgiving?” The Journal of Value Inquiry 27 (3–4): 331–40. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01087682. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01087682

Hughes, Paul M. and Brandon Warmke. 2017. “Forgiveness.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Summer 2017. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2017/entries/forgiveness/.

Jankélévitch, Vladimir. 2005. Forgiveness. Translated by Andrew Kelley. University of Chicago Press.

Keltner, Dacher and Jonathan Haidt. 1999. “Social Functions of Emotions at Four Levels of Analysis.” Cognition and Emotion 13 (5): 502–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/026999399379168. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/026999399379168

Kolnai, Aurel. 1974. “Forgiveness.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 74 (1): 91–106. https://doi.org/10.1093/aristotelian/74.1.91. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/aristotelian/74.1.91

Lactantius. 1965. Lactantius: The Minor Works. Translated by Mary Francis McDonald. The Fathers of the Church 54. Washington, D. C.: Catholic University of America Press.

Lazarus, Richard S. 1991. Emotion and Adaptation. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lewis, Helen Block. 1971. Shame and Guilt in Neurosis. New York: International Universities Press.

Lewis, Michael. 2018. “Self-Conscious Emotions: Embarrassment, Pride, Shame, Guilt, and Hubris.” In Handbook of Emotions, edited by Lisa Feldman Barrett, Michael Lewis, and Jeannette M. Haviland-Jones, 4th ed., 792–814. New York: Guilford Press.

Macnamara, Coleen. 2013a. “Reactive Attitudes as Communicative Entities.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. https://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12075. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12075

______. 2013b. “Screw You!” & “Thank You.” Philosophical Studies 165 (3): 893–914. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-012-9995-3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-012-9995-3

McGeer, Victoria. 2013. “Civilizing Blame.” In Blame: Its Nature and Norms, edited by D. Justin Coates and Neal A. Tognazzini, 162–88. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860821.003.0009

McLaughlin, Peter. 2000. What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511498510

Murphy, Jeffrie G. 1990a. “Forgiveness and Resentment.” In Forgiveness and Mercy, 14–34. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625121.003

______. 1990b. “Hatred: A Qualified Defense.” In Forgiveness and Mercy, 88–110. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

______. 2004. Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Neblett, William R. 1974. “Forgiveness and Ideals.” Mind, New Series, 83 (330): 269–75. https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/LXXXIII.330.269. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/LXXXIII.330.269

Newberry, Paul A. 2001. “Joseph Butler on Forgiveness: A Presupposed Theory of Emotion.” Journal of the History of Ideas 62 (2): 233–44. https://doi.org/10.1353/jhi.2001.0016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jhi.2001.0016

Nussbaum, Martha Craven. 2016. Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Parkinson, Brian. 1996. “Emotions Are Social.” British Journal of Psychology 87 (4): 663–83. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.1996.tb02615.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.1996.tb02615.x

Pettigrove, Glen. 2004. “The Forgiveness We Speak: The Illocutionary Force of Forgiving.” The Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (3): 371–392. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-6962.2004.tb01938.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-6962.2004.tb01938.x

______. 2007. “Understanding, Excusing, Forgiving.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1): 156–175. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00007.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00007.x

______. 2012. Forgiveness and Love. Oxford University Press.

Porter, Stephen and Leanne ten Brinke. 2008. “Reading Between the Lies: Identifying Concealed and Falsified Emotions in Universal Facial Expressions.” Psychological Science 19 (5): 508–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02116.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02116.x

Potter, Nancy. 2000. “Giving Uptake.” Social Theory and Practice 26 (3): 479–508. https://doi.org/10.5840/soctheorpract200026315. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5840/soctheorpract200026315

Prinz, Jesse and Shaun Nichols. 2010. “Moral Emotions.” In Moral Psychology Handbook, 111–48. New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582143.003.0005

Quinn, Carol V. A. 2004. “On the Virtue of Not Forgiving.” International Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (2): 219–229. https://doi.org/10.5840/ijap200418214. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5840/ijap200418214

Roberts, Robert C. 1995. “Forgivingness.” American Philosophical Quarterly 32 (4): 289–306.

Russell, James A. 1994. “Is There Universal Recognition of Emotion From Facial Expression? A Review of the Cross-Cultural Studies.” Psychological Bulletin 115 (1): 102–41. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.115.1.102. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.115.1.102

Rye, Mark S., Kenneth I. Pargament, M. Amir Ali, Guy L. Beck, Elliott N. Dorff, Charles Hallisey, Vasudha Narayanan, and James G. Williams. 2001. “Religious Perspectives on Forgiveness.” In Forgiveness: Theory, Research, and Practice, edited by Michael E. McCullough, Kenneth I. Pargament, and Carl E. Thoresen, 17–40. Guilford Press.

Scherer, Klaus R. 1986. “Vocal Affect Expression: A Review and a Model for Future Research.” Psychological Bulletin 99 (2): 143–65. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.99.2.143. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.99.2.143

Scherer, Klaus R., Rainer Banse, Harald G. Wallbott, and Thomas Goldbeck. 1991. “Vocal Cues in Emotion Encoding and Decoding.” Motivation and Emotion 15 (2): 123–48. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00995674. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00995674

Searle, John. 1969. Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173438

Shaver, P., J. Schwartz, D. Kirson, and C. O’Connor. 1987. “Emotion Knowledge: Further Exploration of a Prototype Approach.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 (6): 1061–86. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.52.6.1061. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.52.6.1061

Smith, Angela M. 2013. “Moral Blame and Moral Protest.” In Blame: Its Nature and Norms, edited by D. Justin Coates and Neal A. Tognazzini, 27–48. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860821.003.0002

Strawson, P.F. 1962. “Freedom and Resentment.” Proceedings of the British Academy 47: 1–25.

Sussman, David. 2005. “Kantian Forgiveness.” Kant-Studien 96 (1): 85–107. https://doi.org/10.1515/kant.2005.96.1.85. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/kant.2005.96.1.85

Tangney, June Price and Ronda L. Dearing. 2002. Shame and Guilt. New York: Guilford Press.

Thomason, Krista. 2017. “Review of ‘Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice.’” Essays in Philosophy 18 (1). http://doi.org/10.7710/1526-0569.1570. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7710/1526-0569.1570

Tracy, Jessica L. and Richard W. Robins. 2013. “The Self in Self-Conscious Emotions: A Cognitive Appraisal Approach.” In The Self-Conscious Emotions: Theory and Research, edited by Jessica L. Tracy, Richard W. Robins, and June Price Tangney, 3–20. New York: Guilford Publications.

Twambley, P. 1976. “Mercy and Forgiveness.” Analysis 36 (2): 84–90. https://doi.org/10.2307/3327099. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/3327099

Van Kleef, Gerben A. 2009. “How Emotions Regulate Social Life: The Emotions as Social Information (EASI) Model.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 18 (3): 184–88. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01633.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01633.x

Van Kleef, Gerben A., Astrid C. Homan, and Arik Cheshin. 2012. “Emotional Influence at Work: Take It EASI.” Organizational Psychology Review 2 (4): 311–39. https://doi.org/10.1177/2041386612454911. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2041386612454911

Wallace, R. Jay. 1994. Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Wallbott, Harald. 1998. “Bodily Expression of Emotion.” European Journal of Social Psychology 28 (6): 879–96. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0992(1998110)28:6<879::AID-EJSP901>3.0.CO;2-W. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0992(1998110)28:6<879::AID-EJSP901>3.0.CO;2-W

Warmke, Brandon. 2013. “Two Arguments against the Punishment-Forbearance Account of Forgiveness.” Philosophical Studies 165 (3): 915–920. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-012-9996-2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-012-9996-2

______. 2016a. “The Economic Model of Forgiveness.” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (4): 570–89. https://doi.org/10.1111/papq.12055. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/papq.12055

______. 2016b. “The Normative Significance of Forgiveness.” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4): 687–703. https://doi.org/10.1080/00048402.2015.1126850. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00048402.2015.1126850

Warmke, Brandon and Michael McKenna. 2013. “Moral Responsibility, Forgiveness, and Conversation.” In Free Will and Moral Responsibility, edited by Ishtiyaque Haji and Justin Caouette, 189–212. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Wolf, Susan. 2011. “Blame, Italian Style.” In Reasons and Recognition: Essays on the Philosophy of T. M. Scanlon, edited by R. Jay Wallace, Rahul Kumar, and Samuel Freeman, 322–47. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zaragoza, Kevin. 2012. “Forgiveness and Standing.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3): 604–621. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00361.x. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00361.x

Published
2020-01-31
How to Cite
Aumann, Antony G, and Zac Cogley. 2020. “Forgiveness and the Multiple Functions of Anger”. Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 1 (1), 44-71. https://doi.org/10.33497/jpe.v1i1.7.