Kant's Justification of the Death Penalty Reconsidered

Kantian Review 15 (2):1-27 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper argues that Immanuel Kant’s practical philosophy contains a coherent, albeit implicit, defense of the legitimacy of capital punishment, one that refutes the most important objections leveled against it. I first show that Kant is consistent in his application of the ius talionis. I then explain how Kant can respond to the claim that death penalty violates the inviolable right to life. To address the most significant objection – the claim that execution violates human dignity – I argue that motives of honor, as Kant conceives it, require a rational person to will her own execution, were she to commit murder.

Author's Profile

Benjamin S. Yost
Cornell University

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-02-02

Downloads
5,842 (#465)

6 months
1,016 (#212)

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?