Punishing Wrongs from the Distant Past

Law and Philosophy 38 (4):335-358 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
On a Parfit-inspired account of culpability, as the psychological connections between a person’s younger self and older self weaken, the older self’s culpability for a wrong committed by the younger self diminishes. Suppose we accept this account and also accept a culpability-based upper limit on punishment severity. On this combination of views, we seem forced to conclude that perpetrators of distant past wrongs should either receive discounted punishments or be exempted from punishment entirely. This article develops a strategy for resisting this conclusion. I propose that, even if the perpetrators of distant past wrongs cannot permissibly be punished for the original wrongs, in typical cases they can permissibly be punished for their ongoing and iterated failures to rectify earlier wrongs. Having set out this proposal, I defend it against three objections, before exploring how much punishment it can justify.
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-03-06
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Nations, Overlapping Generations and Historic Injustice.Daniel Butt - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (4):357-367.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
204 ( #20,667 of 48,850 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
44 ( #15,510 of 48,850 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.