Criminals or Patients? Towards a Tragic Conception of Moral and Legal Responsibility

Criminal Law and Philosophy 4 (2):233-244 (2010)
Abstract
There is a gap between, on the one hand, the tragic character of human action and, on the other hand, our moral and legal conceptions of responsibility that focus on individual agency and absolute guilt. Drawing on Kierkegaard’s understanding of tragic action and engaging with contemporary discourse on moral luck, poetic justice, and relational responsibility, this paper argues for a reform of our legal practices based on a less ‘harsh’ (Kierkegaard) conception of moral and legal responsibility and directed more at empathic understanding based on the emotional and imaginative appreciation of personal narratives. This may help our societies and communities to better cope with unacceptable deeds by individuals who are neither criminals nor patients, to make room for praise as well as blame and punishment, and to set up practices and institutions that do not rely on a conception of responsibility that is hard to bear for all of us.
Keywords Responsibility  Criminal law  Tragedy  Kierkegaard  Imagination  Relations
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,738
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
John Gardner (2003). The Mark of Responsibility. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 23 (2):157-171.

View all 8 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Garrath Williams, Responsibility. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Richard T. De George (1982). The Moral Responsibility of the Hospital. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (1):87-100.
Marina Solodkaya (2008). A Time as the Basis of the New Paradigm of Responsibility. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:1011-1018.
Garrath Williams, Moral Responsibility. Oxford Bibliographies Online.
Derek L. Phillips (1985). Remarks in Praise of Guilt. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 6 (2).
Garrath Williams (2008). Responsibility as a Virtue. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4):455 - 470.
C. Soares (2003). Corporate Versus Individual Moral Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 46 (2):143 - 150.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-09-13

Total downloads

15 ( #106,600 of 1,098,796 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #57,571 of 1,098,796 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.