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Murphy published in Brazilian magazine


September 15, 2008

Professor Jeffrie Murphy, of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, recently was interviewed by a Brazilian journalist for an article about resentment and forgiveness in the magazine, Veja.

"The dilemma between forgiveness and revenge," a special report by Thomaz Favaro, published Sept. 3, quoted Murphy, Regents' Professor of Law, Philosophy & Religious Studies and profiled several individuals who are struggling with or studying revenge.

"Far from being an anachronism, Favaro wrote, `the evolutionary legacy is rich in values very useful to the modern man,' believes the American philosopher Jeffrie Murphy, author of the book Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits (Oxford University Press). What valuable qualities can exist in resentment? Murphy suggests three: self-respect, self-defense, and defense of the moral order."

Quoting Murphy, Favaro wrote, "The person who never resents, whatever the offense, can be a saint. But the lack of resentment can also reveal a personality that is servile and without respect for the rights and status properly accorded to all responsible individuals of dignity and worth."

Murphy said Veja's editor told him many victims of the previous military government are seeking vengeance, mainly through legal punishment, against officials, despite an agreement that they would not be punished. Therefore, issues of resentment, forgiveness, mercy and punishment currently are very topical in Brazil, he said.

Janie Magruder, Jane.Magruder@asu.edu
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law