Making more sense of retributivism: Desert as responsibility and proportionality

Philosophy 78 (2):279-287 (2003)
This paper is an elaboration of my previous paper published in Philosophy, ‘Making Sense of retributivism,’ which was a criticism of John Rawls' attempt in ‘Two Concepts of Rules’ to develop a rule utilitarian theory of punishment wherein utilitarianism is best construed as a justificatory basis for the institution of punishment and retributivism is best construed as serving as a justificatory basis for particular forms of punishment. I challenge this claim, arguing that retributivism must and can provide a justification both for the institution of punishment and for particular forms of punishment. In the end, I develop an analysis of the nature of desert as responsibility and proportionality. This notion of desert makes the best sense of retributivism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819103000287
 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: 16,658
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

70 ( #48,561 of 1,725,989 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #147,227 of 1,725,989 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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