Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (4):903-914 (2018)

David Alm
Lund University
In this paper I take another look at the view, defended by C. Nino, that we may punish criminals because, by knowingly breaking a law, they have consented to becoming liable to the prescribed punishment. I will first rebut the criticisms usually aimed at this view in the literature, aiming to show that they are inconclusive. They are all efforts to show that criminal offenders in fact do not consent to becoming liable to punishment simply by committing crimes. I then turn to a different line of criticism, which I find more promising. I argue that the moral power of effecting normative changes by consenting reflects the power holder’s value as a person, and show how this idea makes sense of how refusal to recognize that power wrongs a person. I then argue that the “power” of consenting to punishability does not fit that model, and is better explained as reflecting the value of other people, whom the offender has wronged. Hence the power of consenting is not involved in typical cases of wrongdoing.
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-018-9926-2
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References found in this work BETA

Persons and Punishment.Herbert Morris - 1968 - The Monist 52 (4):475-501.
The Moral Magic of Consent: Heidi M. Hurd.Heidi M. Hurd - 1996 - Legal Theory 2 (2):121-146.
Moral Principles and Political Obligations.Diana T. Meyers - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (3):472.
“The Moral Magic of Consent.Larry Alexander - 1996 - Legal Theory 2 (3):165-174.
The Moral Foundation of Rights.L. W. Sumner - 1989 - Philosophy 64 (247):120-122.

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Citations of this work BETA

Right to Be Punished?Adriana Placani & Stearns Broadhead - 2020 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (1):53-74.

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