Res Publica 26 (1):123-141 (2020)

Thomas Petersen
University of Copenhagen
The aim of this paper is to argue that the utilitarian principle of criminalization is sounder than its poor reputation suggests. The paper begins by describing three possible answers to the research question: To what extent should the consequences of criminalization matter morally in a theory of criminalization? Hereafter I explain why I shall discuss only two of these answers. Then follows a detailed and critical specification of UPC. Furthermore, I will argue why criticisms of UPC made by philosophers such as Douglas Husak and Victor Tadros in their recent work are far from convincing. Finally, I will present a positive reason for accepting UPC as a principle of criminalization, namely: that UPC is consistent with what I call the Counterproductive Criminalization Principle, while non-consequentialist theories of criminalization are not.
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-019-09426-3
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Weighing Lives.J. Ross - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (4):663-666.
Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 2000 - Mind 109 (434):373-377.
Comparing Harms: Headaches and Human Lives.Alastair Norcross - 1997 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 26 (2):135-167.
Towards a Modest Legal Moralism.R. A. Duff - 2014 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (1):217-235.

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