chapter  1
17 Pages

Toward a Theory of Apology

Mapping Some Terrain of Corrective Justice
WithAndrew I. Cohen

This chapter sets out the preliminaries of an account of apology. The chapter focuses particularly on outlining a theory of apology and explores what that theory might be. A theory of apology should help us to identify apologies and some of their normative significance. A theory should also be consistent with common understandings of apologies while providing a fruitful platform for analyzing them. The chapter highlights some of the main features of a theory of apologies as corrective offers. The chapter defends theorizing apologies as a form of reparation. Skeptics might challenge whether we can have any basis for theorizing a variable social practice such as apologies; the chapter proposes a way to bracket such challenges.

When things break or wear out, we often try to repair them. If a tire goes flat, we try to fix it. We put on the spare. We might instead call a mechanic.