Less Blame, Less Crime? The Practical Implications of Moral Responsibility Skepticism

Journal of Practical Ethics 3 (2):1-17 (2015)
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Abstract
Most philosophers believe that wrongdoers sometimes deserve to be punished by long prison sentences. They also believe that such punishments are justified by their consequences: they deter crime and incapacitate potential offenders. In this article, I argue that both these claims are false. No one deserves to be punished, I argue, because our actions are shot through with direct or indirect luck. I also argue that there are good reasons to think that punishing fewer people and much less harshly will have better social consequences, at a reduced overall cost, then the long prison sentences that are usually seen as required for social protection.
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Archival date: 2016-01-06
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Free Will and Luck.Mele, Alfred R.
Epistemic Luck.Pritchard, Duncan

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