The Utilitarian Justification of Prepunishment

Polish Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):25-35 (2014)
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Abstract

According to Christopher New, prepunishment is punishment for an offence before the offence is committed. I will first analyze New’s argument, along with theepistemic conditions for practicing prepunishment. I will then deal with an important conceptual objection, according to which prepunishment is not a genuine kind of ‘punishment’. After that, I will consider retributivism and present conclusive reasons for the claim that it cannot justify prepunishment without leading to paradoxical results. I shall then seek to establish that from the utilitarian point of view it is possible to provide a plausible justification of this practice. Finally, I shall attempt to defend the claim that the fact that utilitarianism can justify prepunishment in a satisfactory way is clearly a favourable characteristic of this ethical position.

Author's Profile

Voin Milevski
University of Belgrade (PhD)

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