The ancient Greeks such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle had a lot to say about the moral virtues, of which forgiveness is one. Yet, I do not read anything about forgiveness in Aristotle’s writings, for example. Did they miss the discussion of forgiveness?

You are correct that Plato and Aristotle did not discuss person-to-person forgiveness. Yet, Aquinas in the 13th century, who was an Aristotelian in his theology, talked of forgiveness as part of charity or love. I have talked about forgiveness as part of Aristotle’s moral virtue of magnanimity or greatness of heart (in the journal Counseling and Values in 2014). So, although Plato and Aristotle did not directly discuss forgiveness, it is implied in the moral virtue of magnanimity and was folded into the idea of agape love from the ancient Greeks by Aquinas.
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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness

1 comment

  1. directorifi says:

    Yes, although not stated explicitly by Plato and Aristotle, certainly implied and address in many of their writings.


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