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  1. Rethinking Expressive Theories of Punishment: Why Denunciation is a Better Bet Than Communication or Pure Expression.Bill Wringe - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):681-708.
    Many philosophers hold that punishment has an expressive dimension. Advocates of expressive theories have different views about what makes punishment expressive, what kinds of mental states and what kinds of claims are, or legitimately can be expressed in punishment, and to what kind of audience or recipients, if any, punishment might express whatever it expresses. I shall argue that in order to assess the plausibility of an expressivist approach to justifying punishment we need to pay careful attention to whether the (...)
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  • Perp Walks as Punishment.Bill Wringe - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):615-629.
    When Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then head of the IMF, was arrested on charges of sexual assault arising from events that were alleged to have occurred during his stay in an up-market hotel in New York, a sizeable portion of French public opinion was outraged - not by the possibility that a well-connected and widely-admired politician had assaulted an immigrant hotel worker, but by the way in which the accused had been treated by the American authorities. I shall argue that in one (...)
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  • Punishment, Jesters and Judges: A Response to Nathan Hanna.Bill Wringe - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):3-12.
    Nathan Hanna has recently argued against a position I defend in a 2013 paper in this journal and in my 2016 book on punishment, namely that we can punish someone without intending to harm them. In this discussion note I explain why two alleged counterexamples to my view put forward by Hanna are not in fact counterexamples to any view I hold, produce an example which shows that, if we accept a number of Hanna’s own assumptions, punishment does not require (...)
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  • Must Punishment Be Intended to Cause Suffering?Bill Wringe - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4):863-877.
    It has recently been suggested that the fact that punishment involves an intention to cause suffering undermines expressive justifications of punishment. I argue that while punishment must involve harsh treatment, harsh treatment need not involve an intention to cause suffering. Expressivists should adopt this conception of harsh treatment.
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  • Collective Agents and Communicative Theories of Punishment.Bill Wringe - 2012 - Journal of Social Philosophy 43 (4):436-456.
    This paper considers the applicability of expressive theories of punishment to the punishment of corporate entities. The author argues that although arguments which suggest that the denunciatory account is superior to a communicative account in paradigmatic cases of punishment cannot be transferred straightforwardly to cover this kind of case, there are other reasons, connected with the different attitudes we have to regret and remorse in individual and collective cases, for preferring a communicative to a denunciatory account here.
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  • Guit, Anger, and Retribution.Raffaele Rodogno - 2010 - Legal Theory 16 (1):59-76.
    This article focuses primarily on the emotion of guilt as providing a justification for retributive legal punishment. In particular, I challenge the claim according to which guilt can function as part of our epistemic justification of positive retributivism, that is, the view that wrongdoing is both necessary and sufficient to justify punishment. I show that the argument to this conclusion rests on two premises: (1) to feel guilty typically involves the judgment that one deserves punishment; and (2) those who feel (...)
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  • Impunity and Hope.Tony Reeves - 2019 - Ratio Juris 32 (4):415-438.
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  • The Varieties of Attitudes Towards Offenders.Nicolas Nayfeld - 2022 - Criminal Justice Ethics 41 (2):95-120.
    I argue that penal philosophy should focus more on our attitudes towards offenders, since these attitudes can shed new light on theories or principles of punishment (of which they are often express...
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  • Hate Speech Laws: Expressive Power is Not the Answer.Maxime Lepoutre - 2019 - Legal Theory 25 (4):272-296.
    ABSTRACTAccording to the influential “expressive” argument for hate speech laws, legal restrictions on hate speech are justified, in significant part, because they powerfully express opposition to hate speech. Yet the expressive argument faces a challenge: why couldn't we communicate opposition to hate speech via counterspeech, rather than bans? I argue that the expressive argument cannot address this challenge satisfactorily. Specifically, I examine three considerations that purport to explain bans’ expressive distinctiveness: considerations of strength; considerations of directness; and considerations of complicity. (...)
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  • The Expressivist Account of Punishment, Retribution, and the Emotions.Peter Königs - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):1029-1047.
    This paper provides a discussion of the role that emotions may play in the justification of punishment. On the expressivist account of punishment, punishment has the purpose of expressing appropriate emotional reactions to wrongdoing, such as indignation, resentment or guilt. I will argue that this expressivist approach fails as these emotions can be expressed other than through the infliction of punishment. Another argument for hard treatment put forward by expressivists states that punitive sanctions are necessary in order for the law (...)
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  • Punishment.Zachary Hoskins - 2016 - Analysis:anw022.
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  • The Retributive Emotions: Passions and Pains of Punishment.Jules Holroyd - 2010 - Philosophical Papers 39 (3):343-371.
    It is not usually morally permissible to desire the suffering of another person, or to act so as to satisfy this desire; that is, to act with the aim of bringing about suffering. If the retributive emotions, and the retributive responses of which they are a part, are morally permitted or even required, we will need to see what is distinctive about them. One line of argument in this paper is for the conclusion that a retributive desire for the suffering (...)
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  • The Passions of Punishment.Nathan Hanna - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):232-250.
    I criticize an increasingly popular set of arguments for the justifiability of punishment. Some philosophers try to justify punishment by appealing to what Peter Strawson calls the reactive attitudes – emotions like resentment, indignation, remorse and guilt. These arguments fail. The view that these emotions commit us to punishment rests on unsophisticated views of punishment and of these emotions and their associated behaviors. I offer more sophisticated accounts of punishment, of these emotions and of their associated behaviors that are consistent (...)
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  • The Nature of Punishment: Reply to Wringe.Nathan Hanna - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (5):969-976.
    Many philosophers think that an agent punishes a subject only if the agent aims to harm the subject. Bill Wringe has recently argued against this claim. I show that his arguments fail.
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  • Liberalism and the General Justifiability of Punishment.Nathan Hanna - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):325-349.
    I argue that contemporary liberal theory cannot give a general justification for the institution or practice of punishment, i.e., a justification that would hold across a broad range of reasonably realistic conditions. I examine the general justifications offered by three prominent contemporary liberal theorists and show how their justifications fail in light of the possibility of an alternative to punishment. I argue that, because of their common commitments regarding the nature of justification, these theorists have decisive reasons to reject punishment (...)
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  • Facing the Consequences.Nathan Hanna - 2014 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (3):589-604.
    According to deterrence justifications of legal punishment, legal punishment is justified at least in part because it deters offenses. These justifications rely on important empirical assumptions, e.g., that non-punitive enforcement can't deter or that it can't deter enough. I’ll challenge these assumptions and argue that extant deterrence justifications of legal punishment fail. In the process, I examine contemporary deterrence research and argue that it provides no support for these justifications.
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  • Is It Morally Legitimate to Punish the Late Stage Demented for Their Past Crimes?Oliver Hallich - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (3):361-383.
    Are we justified in keeping the demented in prison for crimes they committed when they were still healthy? The answer to this question is an issue of considerable practical importance. The problem arises in cases where very aged criminals exhibit symptoms of dementia while serving their sentence. In these cases, one may wonder whether lodging these criminals in penal institutions rather than in normal caretaking facilities is justifiable. In this paper, I argue that there are justificatory reasons for punishing the (...)
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  • What’s Really Wrong with Fining Crimes? On the Hard Treatment of Criminal Monetary Fines.Ivó Coca-Vila - 2022 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 16 (2):395-415.
    Among the advocates of expressive theories of punishment, there is a strong consensus that monetary fines cannot convey the message of censure that is required to punish serious crimes or crimes against the person. Money is considered an inappropriate symbol to express condemnation. In this article, I argue that this sentiment is correct, although not for the reasons suggested by advocates of expressivism. The monetary day-fine should not be understood as a simple deprivation of money, but as a punishment that (...)
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  • Bennett’s Expressive Justification of Punishment.Peter Chau - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (4):661-679.
    In this paper, I will critically assess the expressive justification of punishment recently offered by Christopher Bennett in The Apology Ritual and a number of papers. I will first draw a distinction between three conceptions of expression: communicative, motivational, and symbolic. After briefly demonstrating the difficulties of using the first two conceptions of expression to ground punishment and showing that Bennett does not ultimately rely on those two conceptions, I argue that Bennett’s account does not succeed because he fails to (...)
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  • Non‐Paradigmatic Punishments.Helen Brown Coverdale & Bill Wringe - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12824.
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, Issue 5, May 2022.
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  • What Is Punishment?Frej Klem Thomsen - manuscript
    Since the middle of the 20th century, philosophers and legal scholars have debated the precise definition of punishment. This chapter surveys the debate, identifies six potential conditions of punishment, and critically reviews each of them: 1) the response condition, which holds that punishment must be in response to wrongdoing, 2) the culpability condition, which holds that punishment must be of a person morally responsible for wrongdoing, 3) the authority condition, which holds that punishment must be imposed by a relevant authority, (...)
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  • Against Legal Punishment.Nathan Hanna - forthcoming - In Matthew C. Altman (ed.), Palgrave Handbook on the Philosophy of Punishment. Palgrave.
    I argue that legal punishment is morally wrong because it’s too morally risky. I first briefly explain how my argument differs from similar ones in the philosophical literature on legal punishment. Then I explain why legal punishment is morally risky, argue that it’s too morally risky, and discuss objections. In a nutshell, my argument goes as follows. Legal punishment is wrong because we can never sufficiently reduce the risk of doing wrong when we legally punish people. We can never sufficiently (...)
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  • Communication, Expression, and the Justification of Punishment.Andy Engen - 2014 - Athens Journal of Humanities and Arts 1 (4):299-307.
    Some philosophers (Duff, Hampton) conceive of punishment as a way of communicating a message to the punished and argue that this communicative function justifies the harm of punishment. I object to communicative theories because punishment seems intuitively justified in cases in which it fails as a method of communication. Punishment fails as communication when the punished ignores the intended message or fails to understand it. Among those most likely to ignore or fail to understand the message of punishment are the (...)
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