Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (3):671-685 (2014)

Introduction: State-Centered and Individual-Centered TheoriesWhat is philosophy of criminal law? The seventeen essays in this book, as a whole, provide an excellent place to start in answering that question. Editors John Deigh and David Dolinko state that they put together this volume of “seventeen original essays by leading thinkers in the philosophy of the criminal law” in order to create “an authoritative handbook” representing “the state of current research on the major topics in the field that arise from issues in the substantive criminal law” (p. v).So what is the field, and what are its major topics? There are many ways to organize this field, but I would start by observing that we can divide the world of philosophy of criminal law into two different types of theorizing: state-centered and individual-centered. The state-centered theory focuses on the proper limits of the state’s power to criminalize and punish, while the individual-centered theory focuses on questions of innocen ..
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DOI 10.1007/s11572-013-9222-0
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