remorse-detectingremorsepaper.doc

In light of the foregoing discussion it becomes

Info icon This preview shows pages 13–18. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
In light of the foregoing discussion, it becomes possible to suggest why validation is more problematic for remorse than for the apology. Even a formal or perfunctory apology may do the remedial work that is -13-
Image of page 13

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
necessary to smooth social relations such as upholding the norms that have been breached. The apology is already a public event that achieves its closure through social exchange- almost, in contractual terms, the apology that is offered is accepted or rejected. Showing or expressing remorse, however, makes public what is intended to remain private- the feelings that one has towards one’s self as a result of one’s offence against the community. In remorse- as in embarrassment 9 - one shows on one’s body the power of the community - the person who gave offense gives the other access to the private self- the self that is withheld from public view. In this process, what is revealed is that the private self as well as the public self has been touched by the values of the community. Since feelings of remorse are expected to originate from inner experience- beyond the realm of appearances- any artifice, contrivance, or obvious dramaturgy is enough to dispel our suspension of disbelief that what -14-
Image of page 14
is shown corresponds to what is felt. Yet because remorse is genuine only if it is felt, if it is painful and unwanted, and only if it is involuntary, then it cannot be credited or validated if this correspondence is not present. And, of course, if remorse is not credited, then its display fails to reestablish the offender as a member of the moral community. Such problems of validation become even more acute when the expression of remorse is coupled with the anticipation of inclusion or exclusion from the moral community, or , as in criminal law, with rewards and punishments. If remorse in its protean form involves a relationship between an offender and a victim, the replacement of the victim by the state has far-reaching consequences. The offender is confronted not only with a moral assymetry in which he or she may be judged undeserving of forgiveness or validation- but also a political assymetry in which the terms in which remorse will be evaluated are determined by the court backed by -15-
Image of page 15

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
the formidable powers of the state. 10 How can we be certain that the overt expression of remorse can remain uninfluenced and uncontaminated by the benefits that might result from its validation? One need not adopt the extreme skepticism of Sigmund Freud who concluded that the only sure sign of remorse was renunciation to appreciate the ambiguity and uncertainty that surrounds the validation of remorse. 11 LAW AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE REMORSEFUL SUBJECT By dividing convicted persons into those who are remorseful and those who are not, the court establishes -16-
Image of page 16
a moral hierarchy that separates those who can be accredited as members of the moral community from those who can not. For this paper, I have limited my analysis primarily to those Ontario cases in 1995 in which remorse was mentioned in the judgement. The population
Image of page 17

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 18
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern