Download An Expressive Theory of Punishment by William Wringe PDF

By William Wringe

This booklet argues that punishment's functionality is to speak a message approximately an offenders' wrongdoing to society at huge. It discusses either 'paradigmatic' instances of punishment, the place a kingdom punishes its personal voters, and non-paradigmatic situations akin to the punishment of firms and the punishment of battle criminals through foreign tribunals.

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Extra resources for An Expressive Theory of Punishment

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For practical purposes, matters are different: we may find that there is a difference between the kinds of punishments that we impose if we take as our standard for harshness what would be found burdensome by a typical member of the society doing the punishing, or what would be found burdensome by a typical individual convicted of a particular crime, or by a typical individual of a particular social class. (The problem only arises when there are noticeable differences between what typical members of these types would find burdensome.

14 One important way of classifying expressivist theories is by considering the intended audience of the message expressed. However, Joshua Glasgow (Glasgow forthcoming) has argued that the best form of expressivism is what he calls ‘pure expressivism’ on which punishment has no intended audience. I discuss this view in more detail in Chapter 4. 15 Duff 2001. 18 This point is not enough to justify imposing on offenders the sorts of treatment which we typically take punishment to involve: imprisonment, community service, monetary fines, and the like – forms of treatment often involve things which those subjected to them would rather not undergo.

On that account, punishment needs to be inflicted by an appropriate authority. Still, there might be cases of self-defense by figures such as policemen and judges, who one might take to be appropriate authorities. To deal with such cases, we might say that, in cases where they are defending themselves, policemen and judges are not acting in their capacity as appropriate authorities. However, this response requires an adequate account of what an appropriate authority is. There is some risk that the account might turn out to be circular: it might end up saying, for example, that an appropriate authority is one which can punish justifiably.

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