Retribution Reconsidered: More Essays in the Philosophy of by Jeffrie G. Murphy (auth.)

By Jeffrie G. Murphy (auth.)

Jeffrie G. Murphy's moment choice of essays additional pursues the themes of punishment and retribution that have been explored in his 1979 assortment Retribution, Justice and Therapy.
Murphy now explores those themes within the context of political philosophy in addition to ethical philosophy, and he now starts to boost a few doubts concerning the model of the retributive conception with which his identify has lengthy been linked.

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Punishments are deterrent if their sole purpose is to prevent an evil from arising ; they are retributive when they are imposed because an evil has been done. Punishments are, therefore, a means of preventing an evil or of punishing it. Those imposed by governments are always deterrent. ' 2. The degree of responsibility depends on the degree of freedom .... In imputing responsibility we must consider impediments and conditions . The greater the obstacles to action which we must overcome, the more accountable we are for the action; the less an action results from our freedom, the less respons ible we are for it..

This confession is not, I hope, merely a boring piece of my own autobiography but expresses, I think, a point of general interest and importance: When the moral accounts of punishment are brought together with issues in social and political philosophy (including the philosophy of constitutional law), we may not be able to retain everything To this I have two responses: (1) To mandate compliance to certain roles does not entail the pennissibility of educating persons so that, in addition to obeying the roles, they will also internalize the roles and accept the dominant rationale for them.

Let me close by making clear my basic point . I have not been concerned to reject retributivism or moral education as theories of punishment because they conflict with the ideology of liberalism. Indeed, I am so sensitive to the moral power of both of these theories of punishment that there are times when I am tempted to drop liberalism in order to embrace them. I simply do not find any of this as clear as I once thought I did. This confession is not, I hope, merely a boring piece of my own autobiography but expresses, I think, a point of general interest and importance: When the moral accounts of punishment are brought together with issues in social and political philosophy (including the philosophy of constitutional law), we may not be able to retain everything To this I have two responses: (1) To mandate compliance to certain roles does not entail the pennissibility of educating persons so that, in addition to obeying the roles, they will also internalize the roles and accept the dominant rationale for them.

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