Republican Dignity: The Importance of Taking Offence [Book Review]

Law and Philosophy 28 (5):465 - 492 (2009)
Abstract
This paper analyses the republican notion of non-domination from the viewpoint of individual dignity. It determines the aspect of individual dignity that republicans are concerned with and scrutinises how it is safeguarded by non-domination. I argue that the notion of non-domination as it is formulated by Pettit contains a number of ambiguities that need to be addressed. I discuss these ambiguities and argue for specific solutions that place great importance on a person's moral beliefs and his status as a moral being amongst others. Furthermore, I argue that the impunity interpretation is to be favoured over the immunity interpretation of non-domination. I show that whilst these solutions accord well with many important republican tenets, they have other implications that contradict known republican positions. In particular, I show there is both room and a need for retributivism within republicanism.
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