Towards a Modest Legal Moralism

Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (1):217-235 (2014)


After distinguishing different species of Legal Moralism I outline and defend a modest, positive Legal Moralism, according to which we have good reason to criminalize some type of conduct if it constitutes a public wrong. Some of the central elements of the argument will be: the need to remember that the criminal law is a political, not a moral practice, and therefore that in asking what kinds of conduct we have good reason to criminalize, we must begin not with the entire realm of wrongdoing, but with conduct falling within the public realm of our civic life; the need to look at the different processes of criminalization, and to ask what kinds of consideration can properly figure in those processes; the need to attend to the relationship, and the essential differences, between criminal law and other modes of legal regulation

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R. A. Duff
University of Stirling

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Harm to Others.Joel Feinberg - 1987 - Oxford University Press USA.
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The Expressive Function of Punishment.Joel Feinberg - 1965 - The Monist 49 (3):397-423.

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Citations of this work

Why Trolley Problems Matter for the Ethics of Automated Vehicles.Geoff Keeling - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (1):293-307.
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Moral Subversion and Structural Entrapment.Jeffrey W. Howard - 2016 - Journal of Political Philosophy 24 (1):24-46.
Punishing the Oppressed and the Standing to Blame.Andy Engen - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (2):271-295.

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