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


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



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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.