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Introduction to ‘Retributivism: Essays on Theory and Policy’

RETRIBUTIVISM: ESSAYS ON THEORY AND POLICY, pp. V-XVI, Mark D. White, ed., Oxford University Press, 2011

12 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2011  

Mark D. White

CUNY College of Staten Island

Date Written: March 17, 2011

Abstract

Retributivism – broadly defined as the view that punishment is justified and motivated by considerations of justice, rights, and desert, rather than by personal or societal consequences – holds a long-standing yet controversial position in legal and political philosophy. Critics deride it as inhumane, backward looking, and dogmatic, a perverse rationalization of vicious sentiments such as revenge and hatred. Supporters argue that it alone respects the demands of justice, maintains the balance between sacrifices made by all citizens, and acknowledges the inherent dignity and equality of all rational persons. The contemporary debate over retributivist punishment has become particularly vibrant in recent years, focusing increasingly on its political and economic, as well as philosophical and practical, aspects. This volume offers innovative perspectives on this debate from twelve prominent scholars that, in the hopes of the editor, will further the discussion of the theory and practice of retributive punishment and promote new areas of expansion for its study.

Keywords: Retributivism, Punishment, Justice, Law, Deontology, Kant, Hegel, Consequentialism, Capital Punishment

Suggested Citation

White, Mark D., Introduction to ‘Retributivism: Essays on Theory and Policy’ (March 17, 2011). RETRIBUTIVISM: ESSAYS ON THEORY AND POLICY, pp. V-XVI, Mark D. White, ed., Oxford University Press, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1789170

Mark D. White (Contact Author)

CUNY College of Staten Island ( email )

Staten Island, NY
United States

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