Compatibilism, Common Sense, and Prepunishment

Public Affairs Quarterly 23 (4):325-335 (2009)
We “prepunish” a person if we punish her prior to the commission of her crime. This essay discusses our intuitions about the permissibility of prepunishment and the relationship between prepunishment and compatibilism about free will and determinism. It has recently been argued that compatibilism has particular trouble generating a principled objection to prepunishment. The failure to provide such an objection may be a problem for compatibilism if our moral intuitions strongly favor the prohibition of prepunishment. In defense of compatibilism, I argue that while no objection to prepunishment is entailed by the central tenets of compatibilism, this does not necessarily show that compatibilism conflicts with our moral intuitions. And while there may be no distinctly compatibilist objection to prepunishment, there are common-sense objections to prepunishment of which the compatibilist can make use, at least under actual-world circumstances. And, while these common-sense objections might be inoperative in certain non-actual circumstances, it is not clear that support for prepunishment would be unintuitive in these circumstances.
Keywords Prepunishment  Moral Responsibility  Compatibilism  Saul Smilansky
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 15,974
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

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Saul Smilansky (1991). The Contrariety of Compatibilist Positions. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:293-309.
Michael S. McKenna (1998). Moral Theory and Modified Compatibilism. Journal of Philosophical Research 23 (January):441-458.
Benjamin Bayer (2015). The Elusiveness of Doxastic Compatibilism. American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (3):233-252.
Andrew C. Khoury (2014). Manipulation and Mitigation. Philosophical Studies 168 (1):283-294.
Neil Levy (2009). Luck and History-Sensitive Compatibilism. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):237-251.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

14 ( #180,581 of 1,725,862 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #348,716 of 1,725,862 )

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.