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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2261988
 
 

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Two Objections to Yaffe on the Criminalization of Attempts


Alex F. Sarch


University of Southern California - Center for Law and Philosophy

May 7, 2013

Criminal Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
In his recent book Attempts, Gideon Yaffe suggests that attempts should be criminalized because of a principle he dubs the "Transfer Principle." This principle holds that if a particular form of conduct is legitimately criminalized, then the attempt to engage in that form of conduct is also legitimately criminalized. Although Yaffe provides a powerful defense of the Transfer Principle, in this paper I argue that Yaffe’s argument for it ultimately does not succeed. In particular, I formulate two objections to Yaffe’s argument for the Transfer Principle. First, I argue that a basic assumption about criminalization, on which Yaffe’s argument crucially depends, is incomplete, and Yaffe’s own attempt to supplement it undermines his argument for the Transfer Principle. Second, I argue that Yaffe’s argument does not properly account for the fact that those who merely attempt a crime and those who complete it might sometimes be responding to reasons in different ways. Accordingly, I conclude that Yaffe has not succeeded in establishing the truth of the Transfer Principle.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

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Date posted: May 8, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Sarch, Alex F., Two Objections to Yaffe on the Criminalization of Attempts (May 7, 2013). Criminal Law and Philosophy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2261988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2261988

Contact Information

Alex F. Sarch (Contact Author)
University of Southern California - Center for Law and Philosophy ( email )
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
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