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2010 | 9 | 3(28) | 409-423

Article title

RECONCILIATION AND FUTURE GOODS (Pojednanie i dobra przyszle)


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In this article the author is continuing reflections presented in his previous paper on the subject 'Ontologia pojednania' (Ontology of Reconciliation), 'Przeglad Filozoficzno-Literacki' 2007, nr 2(17), p. 245-256. He hopes to have considerably improved his argument now as a result of justified criticism leveled by Karolina Wigura. She objects to the author's considering forgiveness as a necessary condition of reconciliation. This view, she rightly claims, does not account for situations in which the wrong is unforgivable and the communities search for a new beginning nevertheless. Following Hannah Arend's remarks to this effect, Karolina Wigura puts emphasis on reconciliatory political gestures that have the power of bringing about a new beginning despite unsatisfactory moral basis. In the author's revised interpretation, he is trying to link reconciliation more to the future than to the past. He continues to claim that in its very core, reconciliation is based on a certain kind of promise, but this promise is based on perception of future goods and not on relieving the burden of the past. His departure point this time are empirical data (obtained from different surveys in Poland) which show that people are more future oriented if they perceive their own past as containing a considerable amount of freedom and choice. He argues that for reconciliation to succeed the perception of open future must in a sense permeate one's past. Only on this condition one's future is capable of absorbing promises and brings the reconciliation. We have to see our past as a field of possibilities that are still (at least in part) valid as possibilities. This is a prerequisite of reconciliation in both individual and political realm.



  • Robert Pilat, Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii PAN, ul. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-220 Warszawa, Poland


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