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Getting even by Jeffrie G. Murphy
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Getting even (2003)

by Jeffrie G. Murphy

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeffrie G. Murphyprimary authorall editionscalculated
El GrecoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kolp, EmilyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Lee and James Canacakos --
inlaws who enrich my family life,
and
James Weinstein --
friend, colleague, and constant source of intellectual stimulation.
First words
When told of Truman Capote's death, Gore Vidal is said to have responded: "Good career move."  (Preface)
I will frame my discussion by asking a question that requires honest introspection of anyone who tries to answer it. The question is this: Suppose that I am a victim of evil -- of violent crime, state torture, or other serious wrongdoing.  What kind of victim should I try to be -- a vindictive victim perhaps seeking vengeance or a forgiving victim perhaps seeking reconciliation? (Introduction)
In considering possible responses to evil, I have promised a "philosophical overview" of forgiveness and related matters.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195151496, Hardcover)

We have all been victims of wrongdoing. Forgiving that wrongdoing is one of the staples of current pop psychology dogma; it is seen as a universal prescription for moral and mental health in the self-help and recovery section of bookstores. At the same time, personal vindictiveness as a rule is seen as irrational and immoral. In many ways, our thinking on these issues is deeply inconsistent; we value forgiveness yet at the same time now use victim-impact statements to argue for harsher penalties for criminals. Do we have a right to hate others for what they have done to us?

The distinguished philosopher and law professor Jeffrie Murphy is a skeptic when it comes to our views on both emotions. In this short and accessible book, he proposes that vindictive emotions (anger, resentment, and the desire for revenge) actually deserve a more legitimate place in our emotional, social, and legal lives than we currently recognize, while forgiveness deserves to be more selectively granted. Murphy grounds his views on careful analysis of the nature of forgiveness, a subtle understanding of the psychology of anger and resentment, and a fine appreciation of the ethical issues of self-respect and self-defense. He also uses accessible examples from law, literature, and religion to make his points. Providing a nuanced approach to a proper understanding of the place of our strongest emotions in moral, political, and personal life, and using lucid, easily understood prose, this volume is a classic example of philosophical thinking applied to a thorny, everyday problem.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

We have all been victims of wrongdoing. Forgiving that wrongdoing is one of the staples of current pop psychology dogma; it is seen as a universal prescription for moral and mental health in the self-help and recovery section of bookstores. At the same time, personal vindictiveness as a rule is seen as irrational and immoral. In many ways, our thinking on these issues is deeply inconsistent; we value forgiveness yet at the same time now use victim-impact statements to argue for harsher penalties for criminals. Do we have a right to hate others for what they have done to us? The distinguished philosopher and law professor Jeffrie Murphy is a skeptic when it comes to our views on both emotions. In this short and accessible book, he proposes that vindictive emotions (anger, resentment, and the desire for revenge) actually deserve a more legitimate place in our emotional, social, and legal lives than we currently recognize, while forgiveness deserves to be more selectively granted.; Murphy grounds his views on careful analysis of the nature of forgiveness, a subtle understanding of the psychology of anger and resentment, and a fine appreciation of the ethical issues of self-respect and self-defense. He also uses accessible examples from law, literature, and religion to make his points. Providing a nuanced approach to a proper understanding of the place of our strongest emotions in moral, political, and personal life, and using lucid, easily understood prose, this volume is a classic example of philosophical thinking applied to a thorny, everyday problem.… (more)

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