Punishment, Rewards and the (Relative) Importance of Desert

24 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020

See all articles by Gustavo A. Beade

Gustavo A. Beade

University of Buenos Aires (UBA); Universidad Austral de Chile - Institute of Private Law and Law Sciences

Date Written: July 21, 2020

Abstract

Philosophers and legal theorists have long been interested in the idea of desert. In this work I intend to demonstrate that the importance of desert is, at times, overrated, leading thinkers to adopt rather extreme positions. I believe that the concept of desert is important in some cases, but desert is by no means central to our thinking of punishment and reward, nor should it be. Even though the concept of desert is generally addressed in matters regarding retribution, I will argue that this concept should not be the basis upon which we build our constructs of punishment and reward. Rather, we should consider the impact that luck has on our lives. If we do so, those considerations would change our perception of the concept of desert.

Keywords: Desert; Punishment; Moral Luck

JEL Classification: K14; K10

Suggested Citation

Beade, Gustavo A. and Beade, Gustavo A., Punishment, Rewards and the (Relative) Importance of Desert (July 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3657557 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3657557

Gustavo A. Beade (Contact Author)

Universidad Austral de Chile - Institute of Private Law and Law Sciences ( email )

Avenida Elena Haverbeck S/N ยท Campus Isla Teja
Valdivia, 5090000
Chile

University of Buenos Aires (UBA) ( email )

Av. Figueroa Alcorta 2263
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires (C1425CKB)
Argentina

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