Hindering a Hindrance to Freedom
Jahrbuch fur Recht und Ethic 16, 227-250, 2008
28 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2008
Kant’s discussion of punishment has probably generated more scholarly attention than any other aspect of his legal and political thought. Much of that attention has focused on his endorsement of a retributive principle; recent discussions have sought to integrate Kant's retributive remarks principle with his explicit references to deterrence. A successful integration of deterrence and retribution promises to bridge the divide between the two intuitive ideas that animate both popular and scholarly discussions of punishment. The first says that we punish criminals because we don’t want people to commit crimes; the second that we punish criminals because of the crimes they have committed. My aim, which I will claim that Kant shares, is more ambitious: to argue that each requires the other.
Keywords: Kant, deterrence, punishment, retribution
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