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Benjamin S. Yost [7]Benjamin Yost [1]
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Profile: Benjamin S. Yost (Providence College)
Profile: Benjamin Yost
  1. Benjamin S. Yost (2011). The Irrevocability of Capital Punishment. Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (3):321-340.
    One of the many arguments against capital punishment is that execution is irrevocable. At its most simple, the argument has three premises. First, legal institutions should abolish penalties that do not admit correction of error, unless there are no alternative penalties. Second, irrevocable penalties are those that do not admit of correction. Third, execution is irrevocable. It follows that capital punishment should be abolished. This paper argues for the third premise. One might think that the truth of this premise is (...)
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  2. Benjamin S. Yost (2010). Kant's Justification of the Death Penalty Reconsidered. Kantian Review 15 (2):1-27.
    This paper argues that Immanuel Kant’s practical philosophy contains a coherent, albeit implicit, defense of the legitimacy of capital punishment, one that refutes the most important objections leveled against it. I first show that Kant is consistent in his application of the ius talionis. I then explain how Kant can respond to the claim that death penalty violates the inviolable right to life. To address the most significant objection – the claim that execution violates human dignity – I argue that (...)
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  3.  4
    Benjamin S. Yost (2016). Kant's Demonstration of Free Will, Or, How to Do Things with Concepts. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):291-309.
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  4. Benjamin Yost (2011). Responsibility and Revision: A Levinasian Argument for the Abolition of Capital Punishment. Continental Philosophy Review 44 (1):41-64.
    Most readers believe that it is difficult, verging on the impossible, to extract concrete prescriptions from the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas. Although this view is largely correct, Levinas’ philosophy can, with some assistance, generate specific duties on the part of legal actors. In this paper, I argue that the fundamental premises of Levinas’ theory of justice can be used to construct a prohibition against capital punishment. After analyzing Levinas’ concepts of justice, responsibility, and interruption, I turn toward his scattered remarks (...)
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  5. Benjamin S. Yost (2008). Rule of Law Abolitionism. Studies in Law, Politics, and Society.
  6.  14
    Benjamin S. Yost (2015). Punishment, Desert, and Equality: A Levinasian Analysis. In Lisa Guenther, Geoffrey Adelsberg & Zeman Scott (eds.), Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration. Fordham UP
    The first part of this chapter defends the claim that the over-incarceration of disadvantaged social groups is unjust. Many arguments for penal reform are based on the unequal distribution of punishment, most notably disproportionate punishment of the poor and people of color. However, some philosophers use a noncomparative conception of desert to argue that the justice of punishment is independent of its distribution. On this view, which has significant influence in 14th Amendment jurisprudence, unequal punishment is not unjust. After detailing (...)
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  7.  5
    Benjamin S. Yost (forthcoming). Kant's Demonstration of Free Will, Or How to Do Things with Concepts. Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-19.
    Kant famously insists that free will is a condition of morality. The difficulty of providing a demonstration of freedom has left him vulnerable to devastating attack: critics charge that Kant’s post-Groundwork justification of morality amounts to a dogmatic assertion of morality’s authority. My paper rebuts this objection, showing that Kant offers a cogent demonstration of freedom. My central claim is that the demonstration must be understood in practical rather than theoretical terms. A practical demonstration of x works by bringing x (...)
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  8.  16
    Benjamin S. Yost (2015). Kant on Moral Autonomy. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 124 (2):263-268.