Social Theory and Practice 23 (1):75-91 (1997)

Stephen Kershnar
Fredonia State University
George Sher's theory of deserved punishment is unable to account for cases in which wrongdoing does not result in unfair advantages. Sher attempts to connect punishment with distributive justice by suggesting that punishment is deserved inasmuch as the unfair advantage gained by wrongdoing is offset. According to Sher's diachronic theory of fairness, punishment is also deserved when it occurs in response to transgression of a first-order ethical norm. A problem for the theory concerns the justification it provides for disparate treatment of wrongdoers who are morally indistinguishable.
Keywords George Sher  Punishment  Desert  Retributivism  Victimized Wrongdoer  Unfair Advantage
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ISBN(s) 0037-802X
DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract19972314
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