Mismeasuring “unfair advantage”: A response to Michael Davis [Book Review]

Law and Philosophy 13 (4):493 - 524 (1994)
One prominent contemporary retributivist theory is built on the notion that crime yields an “unfair advantage” over law-abiding citizens which punishment removes or nullifies. Michael Davis has defended this theory by constructing a market model of “unfair advantage” that he contends answers critics' objections to the retributivist enterprise. I seek to demonstrate the inadequacy of Davis's approach, arguing in particular that the market model rests on an incoherent notion of “demand” and would not, even if coherent, link “unfair advantage” to the seriousness of crimes in any acceptable fashion. The salience of traditional objections to retributivism is thus unaffected by Davis's theory.
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