The fitting, the deserving, and the beautiful

Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (3):331-350 (2006)
Punishment is punishment even if it is not (perceived by the punisher to be) deserved. But punishment which is not (perceived by the punisher to be) fitting is not punishment. This paper explores the differences between desert and fittingness, and argues that incorporating fittingness into thedefinition of punishment is not problematic, whereas incorporating desert in such definition is, in contrast, infamously problematic. The main difference between these two notions turns on the interesting differences between two types of normativity. Fittingness is exclusively concerned with aesthetic normativity, whereas desert is more directly concerned with moral normativity. When something is fitting, then it is, to an extent, intrinsically good, and, to an extent, it is also beautiful. The notion of fittingness has largely been ignored in discussions of punishment, yet it helps us better to understand the phenomenon of punishment, and in particular the thorny relationship between this phenomenon and desert. Key Words: beauty • desert • fittingness • normativity • punishment • retributivism.
Keywords beauty   normativity   retributivism   punishment   desert   fittingness
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: 9,351
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Matt King (2013). Two Faces of Desert. Philosophical Studies:1-24.
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    28 ( #52,587 of 1,088,380 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,380 )

    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.