Ratio Juris 2 (3):227-239 (1989)

. The modern interpretation of Smith as a retributive theorist of punishment is challenged in favour of a view of his work as containing a curious amalgam of retributive and utilitarian elements. This unsynthesised theoretical compound accounts for many of the contradictory positions assumed by him, examples of which are given in the article. At the level of “punishment” , the retributivehtilitarian dichotomy is observed in his discussions of merit and demerit and propriety and impropriety . At the level of state punishment, the same dichotomy is seen in his juxtaposition of considerations of individual justice and the political ends of punishment. A final section locates Smith's “double cleft stick” theoretically in his position on the one hand in the Hobbesian materialist tradition and on the other in his historical stance half‐way between the individualism of the contractarians and the full blown utilitarianism of Bentham
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9337.1989.tb00040.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,447
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
Natural Right and History (Chicago, 1953).Leo Strauss - 1953 - The Correspondence Between Ethical Egoists and Natural Rights Theorists is Considerable Today, as Suggested by a Comparison of My" Recent Work in Ethical Egoism," American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (2):1-15.
The Metaphysical Elements of Justice.Immanuel Kant - 1965 - Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Adam Smith and the Theory of Punishment.Richard Stalley - 2012 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (1):69-89.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Adam Smith and the Theory of Punishment.Richard Stalley - 2012 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (1):69-89.
Adam Smith on Justice, Rights, and Law.David Lieberman - 2006 - In Knud Haakonssen (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Adam Smith. Cambridge University Press.
Adam Smith's Moral and Political Philosophy.Adam Smith - 1948 - New York: Hafner Pub. Co..
Adam Smith: Justice and Due Shares.John Salter - 2000 - Economics and Philosophy 16 (1):139-146.


Added to PP index

Total views
29 ( #333,951 of 2,326,394 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #433,912 of 2,326,394 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes