Kant's Mature Theory of Punishment, and a First Critique Ideal Abolitionist Alternative

In Matthew Altman (ed.), Palgrave Kant Handbook (forthcoming)
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This chapter has two goals. First, I will present an interpretation of Kant’s mature account of punishment, which includes a strong commitment to retributivism. Second, I will sketch a non-retributive, “ideal abolitionist” alternative, which appeals to a version of original position deliberation in which we choose the principles of punishment on the assumption that we are as likely to end up among the punished as we are to end up among those protected by the institution of punishment. This is radical relative to Kant’s mature theory of punishment, but arguably it conforms better to the spirit of Kant’s first Critique remarks on imputation and punishment than his mature theory does.
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