Meir Dan-Cohen


Dan-Cohen shares his views on group conflicts and how wrongdoers--individuals and groups--get past their wrongdoing. He points out that on the individual level the wrongdoer uses apology and remorse to try to redefine herself as a person in such a way that others no longer continue to hold her responsible for her prior bad conduct. In the process of forgiveness, the wrongdoer's personal identity is redefined in such a way that the reactive attitudes of the victim terminate. He asserts that a similar redefinition occurs when the wrongdoing is committed by a nation. He describes this process as one in which the temporal boundaries of the state are redrawn. The end result of such boundary drawing is that the collective memory of the wrong (attached to personal identity) is undone while the collective history of the wrong (a cognitive recollection that the wrong happened) is retained.

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