Clemency: Neither Pity nor Forgiveness


Clemency: Neither Pity nor Forgiveness

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A legal, moral and political virtue, clemency can be exercised by the merciful judge, the mild politician, the forgiving parent, the understanding teacher. Neither mercy nor forgiveness, clemency is a "hierarchical" virtue par excellence, since it describes the benevolent disposition of the superior toward the inferior, sometimes demanded of justice, sometimes granted by justice, when by pardon it spares the condemned person life or years of punishment. Through a historical-conceptual restoration merged in Francesca Rigotti's essay Clemenza (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2023), among ancient, modern, and contemporary metaphors and images we can rediscover a vital and multi-purpose word, which is not only inscribed in the sphere of law, but has to do with that of ethics, politics and democracy.

Discussing this with the author will be Fabio Merlini, philosopher, chairman of the board of the Eranos Foundation and regional director of the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET).

Paola Piffaretti, Bellinzona Cantonal Library, will introduce the evening.

Francesca Rigotti, an Italian philosopher, essayist and literary critic, has been a visiting fellow at Princeton University and a lecturer at the Universities of Zurich and Göttingen. For more than two decades she has taught at the University of Italian Switzerland for the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society.

The event, promoted by the Bellinzona Cantonal Library on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 6:30 pm, is held in collaboration with the Eranos Foundation as part of Democracy Day 2023.

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