The theme for the 2008 meeting is Forgiveness. One has the general impression that for philosophers the nature and significance of forgiveness has not always figured prominently in their reflections. Yet it is evident that without forgiveness human life would not be what it is, and perhaps might not be possible at all. Evil acts are done, individually or collectively, and it seems what is done cannot be undone. Yet we must relate to what is done, whether by forgiveness or something like it, for human life to continue. Forgiveness seems as much related to our future as to our past. The theme of forgiveness is central to the Catholic theological and philosophical traditions, and within these traditions both philosophers and theologians have addressed the concern of forgiveness through the centuries. Our own time is no exception to the need to reflect on the nature and activity of forgiveness. Members interested in contributing to the conference might focus their investigations of how different thinkers approach the nature of forgiveness. Or they might concern themselves with questions like the following: What philosophical contributions have been made in terms of understanding the nature of forgiveness, human nature’s ability to embrace forgiveness? What relationship does forgiveness have to systems of normative ethics and considerations of justice? What of the possibility or impossibility of forgiveness as a human response to evil and injustice? Is there ever a human act that is unforgivable? How does memory affect forgiveness? Is forgiveness an essentially personal act? Does forgiveness have political implications, particularly in the wake of war? Is there any possibility for national forgiveness, either of evils a nation has committed or has had committed against it? Is forgiveness a purely supernatural act? Is it possible to do justice to forgiveness without invoking religious considerations? What might an epistemology of forgiveness look like? What are the ontological and metaphysical conditions that make possible genuine acts of forgiveness? In what way might it be possible that forgiveness alters the relationship between the victim and the wrongdoer? What can Catholic philosophical traditions contribute to this discourse on forgiveness?

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