George Sher’s Theory of Deserved Punishment, and the Victimized Wrongdoer

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

Authors
Stephen Kershnar
Fredonia State University
Abstract
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 Punishment  Desert  Unfair Advantage  George Sher
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ISBN(s) 0037-802X
DOI soctheorpract19972314
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