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Theories of punishment accentuating its communicative dimension have soared for the past years, not only in Europe but also in the U.S. Some academics have criticized their inability to adequately explain the physical dimension of punishment, i.e., the so-called “penal pain”. This essay aims at providing the foundations of a communicative theory of punishment based on constructivist epistemology which conceives of “penal pain” as a communicative artefact used by the legal system.
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