Criminal Responsibility and the Emotions: If Fear and Anger Can Exculpate, Why Not Compassion?

22 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2014  

R. A. Duff

University of Minnesota Law School; University of Stirling - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: January 29, 2014

Abstract

On the basis of an Aristotelian account of the defence of duress and the partial defence of provocation, I ask why the compassion that can motivate someone to assist another’s suicide, or even to commit voluntary euthanasia, should not ground an analogous defence; and, if it should, whether such an emotion-based defence should be understood as justificatory or as excusatory.

Keywords: duress, provocation, assisting suicide, euthanasia, justification and excuse

Suggested Citation

Duff, R. A., Criminal Responsibility and the Emotions: If Fear and Anger Can Exculpate, Why Not Compassion? (January 29, 2014). Inquiry, Forthcoming; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2387765

Robin Antony Duff (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Stirling - Department of Philosophy ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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