Krzywda i zadośćuczynienie


One of the prevailing problems in thinking about morality is how can one prevent oneself from hurting other people. My question in what to do if it has already happened? In the paper I advance analyses of the act of wrongdoing and the state of suffering from wrong. I take wrong as establishing a pathological relationship between two persons, which cannot be easily dissolved neither by the wrongdoer nor by the victim. Wrong creates a lasting effect in the victim. It stays even after reparation of the damage has taken place and even if the victim has lost most of the feelings connected to the wrong. I call this feature of wrong ,,a sting” (following a metaphor E. Cannetti used in his analysis of command). I suggest that the lasting effect of wrong has to do with human dignity. Metaphorically speaking, redressing wrong amounts to removing this sting. Redressing wrong is no doubt a widely accepted moral requirement, but it is quite hard to see how this requirement can it be met. I examine several ways of removing the sting of wrong, some of them being in the power of wrongdoer, and some in the power of victim. These are: reparation, forgetting, rationalization, punishment, revenge, forgetting. I find reasons to believe that the sting of wrong can stay all of these acts notwithstanding. Having reached this sceptical conclusion I remind some we known religious answers to this question and some consequences of accepting them.