September 2, 2017

Download Honor and Revenge: A Theory of Punishment by Whitley R.P. Kaufman PDF

By Whitley R.P. Kaufman

ISBN-10: 9400748442

ISBN-13: 9789400748446

This e-book addresses the matter of justifying the establishment of felony punishment. It examines the “paradox of retribution”: the truth that we can't appear to reject the instinct that punishment is morally required, and but we won't (even after thousand years of philosophical debate) discover a morally valid foundation for causing damage on wrongdoers. The booklet comes at a time while a brand new “abolitionist” flow has arisen, a circulate that argues that we must always hand over the quest for justification and settle for that punishment is morally unjustifiable and may be discontinued instantly. This e-book, notwithstanding, proposes a brand new method of the retributive idea of punishment, arguing that it's going to be understood in its conventional formula that has been lengthy forgotten or pushed aside: that punishment is basically a safety of the respect of the sufferer. correctly understood, this may provide us the opportunity of a sound ethical justification for the establishment of punishment.​

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However, we can quickly identify the mistake in the consequentialist’s argument. He has made a tacit assumption that is faulty: that the two situations (killing a person versus letting a person die) are morally equivalent, and that their equivalence reduces to their producing identical consequences. That is, the argument assumes the consequentialist principle that all and only consequences matter morally. But the consequentialist misses a crucial moral distinction that is essential to common sense morality: the distinction between the intended results of one’s action versus the foreseen results or side effects.

Whether such methods work is of course a major problem, and the rehabilitative ideal is virtually dead nowadays (except in small pockets of criminal justice, such as drug treatment programs). In fact, the current consensus is that the current system of punishment has, if anything, an anti-rehabilitative effect, hardening prisoners into a life of ever more crime rather than the opposite. Nonetheless, it remains possible at least in principle that rehabilitation could serve as a method of crime prevention, even if we have so far been unable to make it work in practice.

That is the topic of the remainder of this chapter. 2 Crime Prevention and the Utilitarian Moral Theory The utilitarian or consequentialist moral theory holds that an action or practice is justified just in case it would lead to better overall consequences than any alternatives. ) along with all other social costs of the institution are outweighed by the positive benefits that result. Given that punishment involves the infliction of severe suffering on the prisoner (both in the form of pain and the deprivation of his happiness as a result of the loss of his freedom and even life), for the practice of punishment to be morally justified, there would have to be extremely large corresponding social benefits, presumably in the form of crime prevention.

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