OXFORD HANDBOOK OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE CRIMINAL MIND, John Deigh and Stuart Green, eds., 2008
35 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2008
In this encyclopedia entry I set forth my analysis of culpability and its place in a justification of criminal punishment. I argue that culpability is the product of the totality of the risks the actor believes he is unleashing through his willed bodily movement (or through his failure to act) and his reasons for so acting (or omitting). Culpability is also affected by the quality of the actor's deliberation. This risks/reasons analysis of culpability eliminates the separate roles of purpose, knowledge, and recklessness in traditional mens rea analysis and rejects the notion that negligence is culpable. It also casts doubt on traditional inchoate crimes such as the "substantial step" attempt, conspiracy, and solicitation as well as on the traditional requirements of complicity and instead asks only whether the actor believes he has unleashed risks of harm or only intends to unleash risks at some future time.
Keywords: culpability, retributivism, desert, recklesness, omissions, purpose, knowledge, negligence, intention
JEL Classification: K00, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Alexander, Larry, Culpability. OXFORD HANDBOOK OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE CRIMINAL MIND, John Deigh and Stuart Green, eds., 2008; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 08-060. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1226722