Retributivism revisited

Philosophical Studies 167 (2):473-484 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
I’ll raise a problem for Retributivism, the view that legal punishment is justified on the basis of desert. I’ll focus primarily on Mitchell Berman’s recent defense of the view. He gives one of the most sophisticated and careful statements of it. And his argument is representative, so the problem I’ll raise for it will apply to other versions of Retributivism. His insights about justification also help to make the problem particularly obvious. I’ll also show how the problem extends to non-retributive justifications of punishment. I’ll argue that Berman’s argument makes a questionable assumption about the standard of justification that justifications of punishment must meet to be successful. If we think about what it takes to justify punishment and reflect on the intuitions that retributivists appeal to, it turns out that the intuitions aren’t obviously up to the task
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-03-22
View other versions
Added to PP

416 (#19,490)

6 months
51 (#15,348)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?