Shame, guilt, and punishment

Law and Philosophy 28 (5):429 - 464 (2009)
Abstract
The emotions of shame and guilt have recently appeared in debates concerning legal punishment, in particular in the context of so called shaming and guilting penalties. The bulk of the discussion, however, has focussed on the justification of such penalties. The focus of this article is broader than that. My aim is to offer an analysis of the concept of legal punishment that sheds light on the possible connections between punishing practices such as shaming and guilting penalties, on the one hand, and emotions such as guilt, shame, and perhaps humiliation, on the other. I␣contend that this analysis enhances our understanding of the various theories of punishment that populate this part of criminal law theory and thereby sharpens the critical tools needed to assess them. My general conclusion is that, in different ways, all of the theories we encounter in this area can benefit from paying renewed attention to the nature of the connection between the state’s act of punishing and its expected or perceived emotional effect on the individual.
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References found in this work BETA
Antony Duff (2003). Punishment, Communication and Community. In Derek Matravers & Jonathan E. Pike (eds.), Debates in Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Anthology. Routledge, in Association with the Open University.

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