Adam Smith and the Theory of Punishment

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (1):69-89 (2012)
Abstract
A distinctive theory of punishment plays a central role in Smith's moral and legal theory. According to this theory, we regard the punishment of a crime as deserved only to the extent that an impartial spectator would go along with the actual or supposed resentment of the victim. The first part of this paper argues that Smith's theory deserves serious consideration and relates it to other theories such as utilitarianism and more orthodox forms of retributivism. The second part considers the objection that, because Smith's theory implies that punishment is justified only when there is some person or persons who is the victim of the crime, it cannot explain the many cases where punishment is imposed purely for the public good. It is argued that Smith's theory could be extended to cover such cases. The third part defends Smith's theory against the objection that, because it relies on our natural feelings, it cannot provide an adequate moral justification of punishment.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
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: 12,068
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
R. A. Duff (2002). Crime, Prohibition, and Punishment. Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2):97–108.
Jon Elster (1990). Norms of Revenge. Ethics 100 (4):862-885.

View all 11 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-03-01

Total downloads

14 ( #120,382 of 1,101,810 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #128,762 of 1,101,810 )

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.