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Republican Theory and Criminal Punishment

  • Philip Pettit (a1)

Suppose we embrace the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination: freedom as immunity to arbitrary interference. In that case those acts that call uncontroversially for criminalization will usually be objectionable on three grounds: the offender assumes a dominating position in relation to the victim, the offender reduces the range or ease of undominated choice on the part of the victim, and the offender raises a spectre of domination for others like the victim. And in that case, so it appears, the obvious role for punishment will be, so far as possible, to undo such evils: to rectify the effects of the crime that make it a repugnant republican act. This paper explores this theory of punishment as rectification, contrasting it with better established utilitarian and retributivist approaches.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Quentin Skinner , The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 2 vols, Cambridge, 1978

Caroline Robbins , The Eighteenth Century Commonwealthman, Cambridge, Mass., 1959

‘The Idea of Negative Liberty’, Philosophy in History, ed. R. Rorty , J. B. Schneewind and Q. Skinner , Cambridge, 1984

T. M. Scanlon , ‘Contractualism and Utilitarianism,’ Utilitarianism and Beyond, ed. A. Sen and B. Williams , Cambridge, 1982

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  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
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