Acta Cogitata: An Undergraduate Journal in Philosophy


Our everyday personal interactions with others are nothing if not complex. Accidents happen, mistakes are made, and the seamless understanding of the attitudes and actions of others doesn’t always occur. At some point an apology will need to be offered. In this essay I intend to examine the work done by an apology after an accidental transgression in mitigating unfavorable reactive attitudes like anger and resentment. This important work, I’ll argue, is more than just a societal norm. The work of an apology not only helps others to hold us in our identity as morally responsible agents, but has the ability to engender hope in ourselves and our fellow man.

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