The paper deals with Ricœur’s conception of forgiveness as related to guilt, which he articulated mainly in his Memory, history, forgetting. Forgiveness is paradoxical in itself: while related to something shameful, unjustifiable that one can not forget, it also, according to Ricœur, gives one an opportunity to forgive. We forgive regardless of our feeling of being offended or humiliated, consequently the act of forgiving is grounded in something transcending mere exchange of a forgiveness asked and forgiveness expressed. In his polemics with Jankélévich and Derrida concerning the unconditioned, resp. conditioned character of forgiveness Ricœur tries to decode its ground. The paper tries to shed light on what it means to forgive and why the guilt, even when forgiven, is still remembered, though not in its burdensome and paralyzing form.
Agent, Conditioned forgiveness, Gift, Guilt, J. Derrida, Moral philosophy, P. Ricœur, Unconditioned forgiveness, Unforgivable, V. Jankélévich, XXth century French philosophy