This chapter outlines Jankélévitch's distinction of forgiveness from the decay of time and forgetting, the excuse and understanding, and political pardon, mercy, and reparations. It illuminates the superabundant character of forgiveness and examines the value and deficits of the substitutes for forgiveness. This chapter discusses Jankélévitch's commendation of forgiveness as an unconditional gift belonging to the order of love and grace. It contrasts his emphasis on human vulnerability and fallibility with ideals of autarky in the thought of Aristotle, the Stoics, and Nietzsche. Drawing on Greek political thought but also on Kant, Carl Schmitt and Jacques Derrida, this chapter sketches the connection between sovereignty and pardon and highlights the ateleological, non-strategic event-character of forgiveness.
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