H. L. A. Hart, in his classic book Law, Liberty, and Morality, is unsuccessful in arguing that James Fitzjames Stephen’s observations about the role of vice in criminal sentencing have no relevance to a more general defense of legal moralism. He does, however, have a very important insight about the special significance of sexual liberty.
This collection of essays presents Jeffrie G. Murphy's most recent ideas on punishment, forgiveness, and the emotions of resentment, shame, guilt, remorse, love, and jealousy. In Murphy's view, conscious rationales of principle -- such as crime control or giving others what in justice they deserve -- do not always drive our decisions to punish or condemn others for wrongdoing. Sometimes our decisions are in fact driven by powerful and rather base emotions such as malice, spite, envy, and cruelty. But our (...) decisions to punish or condemn can also be driven by noble emotions. Indeed, if we punish to express the justified resentment and indignation that decent people feel toward the wronging of a human being, punishment and condemnation can be seen acts of love. Once we realize the vital roles that emotions can play in punishment and other forms of condemnation, we can explore them in a variety of important ways. Jealousy sometimes causes crimes, forgiveness allows us to overcome resentment, and mercy - inspired by compassion-- limits the severity of punishment. All these emotions may be called "moral emotions"-meaning simply that they are emotions that essentially involve a moral belief. The essays in this collection explore, from philosophical and religious perspectives, a variety of moral emotions and their relationship to punishment and condemnation or to decisions to lessen punishment or condemnation. Those interested in ethics, philosophy of law, and the nature and role of the emotions, will find much of interest in these essays by this highly distinguished scholar. -/- "This volume brings together a number of Jeffrie Murphy's ground-breaking essays of the last twelve years on an impressive range of deeply important issues: the moral emotions (in particular, resentment, shame, jealousy, and remorse); forgiveness and mercy; the foundations of the theory of punishment; and the nature of dignity. Murphy's wonderfully clear and perceptive essays are indispensable for anyone interested in these and related topics." - Charles L. Griswold, Boston University -/- "In this new collection of exceptionally stimulating essays a distinguished philosopher engages topics of great interest to philosophers and non-philosophers alike - the nature of guilt, shame, remorse, forgiveness, repentance, love, jealousy, punishment and their roles in our lives. Few philosophers, until relatively recently, directed any sustained attention to these significant aspects of our lives. Murphy's essays go a substantial distance toward remedying this neglect. His approach is analytic; his arguments are clearly presented; his style is personal and engaging; insights are frequently accompanied by apposite quotes from poetry and fiction. There is an appealing humility and openness to the views of others. Readers will be drawn in by both the drama of his engagement with his earlier views that he now finds wanting as well as the ongoing drama of his responses to others with whom he disagrees. There is no plodding through arid discourse in order to uncover jewels in this work. This is philosophy done in a manner that promotes both knowledge and enjoyment." - Herbert Morris, University of California at Los Angeles -/- "Jeffrie Murphy has compiled a collection of influential essays that will be important across disciplines and relevant to the way we understand -- and more importantly treat -- moral transgressors and their victims. In his typically elegant, literary, and humorous style Murphy examines such moral emotions as sympathy, compassion, forgiveness, resentment, and vengeance, getting to the heart of the philosophical dilemmas in a way that speaks to the lived lives of victims and wrong-doers. His thinking is both clear and brilliant, and he expresses it here in inspired and satisfying arguments." - Sharon Lamb, Chair & Distinguished Professor of Mental Health, Department of Counseling and School Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston -/- "Over the past forty years, Jeffrie Murphy has been our surest and sagest guide across the contested boundary lines between law and morality, crime and sin, retribution and rehabilitation. This volume not only reveals his trademark erudition in exploring the most fundamental questions of crime and punishment. It also shows the humility of a wise and seasoned scholar, who has come to a new appreciation for the moral emotions of resentment, guilt, remorse, and shame, and their constructive role in fostering forgiveness, reformation, and reconciliation among criminals and their victims. You cannot read this volume without being persuaded by its argument and moved by its passion." - John Witte, Jr., Emory -/- "This welcome new collection of essays displays all the virtues that we have come to expect from Murphy's work: a distinctive voice, a sensitivity to the acute moral problems posed by our practices of punishment, illuminating discussions informed by a lucid philosophical and moral imagination. It makes more widely available Murphy's further thoughts on such central concepts as guilt, remorse, retribution, repentance, forgiveness, mercy and dignity, and should confirm his standing as one of the most interesting contemporary writers on criminal law and its moral foundations." -Antony Duff, University of Stirling. (shrink)
This is a slightly revised text of Jeffrie G. Murphyâs Presidential Address delivered to the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, in March 2006. In the essay the author reconsiders two positions he had previously defendedâthe liberal attack on legal moralism and robust versions of the retributive theory of punishmentâand now finds these positions much more vulnerable to legitimate attack than he had previously realized. In the first part of the essay, he argues that the use of Millâs liberal harm principle (...) against legal moralism cannot be cabined in such a way as to leave intact other positions that many liberals want to defendâin particular, certain fundamental constitutional rights and character retributivism in criminal sentencing. In the second part of the essay, he expresses serious doubtsâsome inspired by Nietzscheâabout the versions of character retributivism that he had once enthusiastically defended and now describes himself as no more than a reluctant retributivist. (shrink)
We have all been victims of wrongdoing. Forgiving that wrongdoing is one of the staples of current pop psychology dogma; it is seen as a universal prescription for moral and mental health in the self-help and recovery section of bookstores. At the same time, personal vindictiveness as a rule is seen as irrational and immoral. In many ways, our thinking on these issues is deeply inconsistent; we value forgiveness yet at the same time now use victim-impact statements to argue for (...) harsher penalties for criminals. Do we have a right to hate others for what they have done to us? The distinguished philosopher and law professor Jeffrie Murphy is a skeptic when it comes to our views on both emotions. In this short and accessible book, he proposes that vindictive emotions (anger, resentment, and the desire for revenge) actually deserve a more legitimate place in our emotional, social, and legal lives than we currently recognize, while forgiveness deserves to be more selectively granted. Murphy grounds his views on careful analysis of the nature of forgiveness, a subtle understanding of the psychology of anger and resentment, and a fine appreciation of the ethical issues of self-respect and self-defense. He also uses accessible examples from law, literature, and religion to make his points. Providing a nuanced approach to a proper understanding of the place of our strongest emotions in moral, political, and personal life, and using lucid, easily understood prose, this volume is a classic example of philosophical thinking applied to a thorny everyday problem. (shrink)
For psychologists and psychotherapists, the notion of forgiveness has been enjoying a substantial vogue. For their patients, it holds the promise of "moving on" and healing emotional wounds. The forgiveness of others - and of one's self - would seem to offer the kind of peace that psychotherapy alone has never been able to provide. In this volume, psychologist Sharon Lamb and philosopher Jeffrie Murphy argue that forgiveness has been accepted as a therapeutic strategy without serious, critical examination. They intend (...) this volume to be a closer, critical look at some of these questions: why is forgiveness so popular now? What exactly does it entail? When might it be appropriate for a therapist not to advise forgiveness? When is forgiveness in fact harmful? Lamb and Murphy have collected many previously-unpublished chapters by both philosophers and psychologists that examine what is at stake for those who are injured, those who injure them, and society in general when such a practice becomes commonplace. Some chapters offer cautionary tales about forgiveness therapy, while others paint complex portraits of the social, cultural, and philosophical factors that come into play with forgiveness. The value of this volume lies not only in its presentation of a nuanced view of this therapeutic trend, but also as a general critique of psychotherapy, and as a valuable testimony of the theoretical and practical possibilities in an interdisciplinary collaboration between philosophy and clinical psychology. (shrink)
This essay is a critique of the two chapters on jealousy in Jerome Neu's book A Tear is an Intellectual Thing. The rival — as anobject of both fear and hatred — is of central importance in romantic jealousy, but it is here argued that the role of the rival cannot be fully understood in Neu's account of jealousy and that shame (not noted by Neu) must be seen as central to the concept of jealousy if the role of the (...) rival is to be fully understood. (shrink)
In this revised edition, two distinguished philosophers have extended and strengthened the most authoritative text available on the philosophy of law and jurisprudence. While retaining their comprehensive coverage of classical and modern theory, Murphy and Coleman have added new discussions of the Critical Legal Studies movement and feminist jurisprudence, and they have strengthened their treatment of natural law theory, criminalization, and the law of torts. The chapter on law and economics remains the best short introduction to that difficult, controversial, and (...) influential topic.Students will appreciate the careful organization and clear presentation of complicated issues as well as the emphasis on the relevance of both law and legal theory to contemporary society. (shrink)
James Rachels has argued that a morally autonomous person (in Kant’s sense) could not consistently accept the authority of divine commands. Against Rachels, this essay argues (a) that the Kantian concept of moral autonomy is to be analyzed in terms of an agent’sresponsiveness to the best available moral reasons and (b) that it is simply question-begging against divine command theory to assume that such commands could not count as the best moral reasons available to an agent.
Plato. Crito.--Mill, J. S. Utilitarianism.--Rawls, J. Two concepts of rules.--Kant, I. Fundamental principles of the metaphysic of morals.--Rawls, J. Justice as fairness.--Benn, S. I. and Peters, R. S. Society and types of social regulation.--Hobbes, T. Leviathan, abridged.--Hayek, F. A. The principles of a liberal social order.--Marx, K. Alienation and its overcoming in Communism.--Lukes, S. Alienation and anomie.--Garver, N. What violence is.--Zinn, H. The force of nonviolence.--Caudwell, C. Pacifism and violence; a study in bourgeois ethics.--Bennett, J. Whatever the consequences.--Foot, P. Abortion (...) and the doctrine of the double effect.--Benn, S. I. Punishment.--Mill, J. S. Selection from On liberty.--Mill, J. S. Selection from Considerations on representative government.--Marcuse, H. The new forms of control.--Mill, J. S. The subjection of women, abridged.--Dickinson, J. A working theory of sovereignty, abridged.--Rawls, J. The justification of civil disobedience. (shrink)