Kant and Capital Punishment Today

We will consider alternative ways that Kant’s philosophical views on ethics generally and on punishment more particularly could be brought into harmony with the present near consensus of opposition to the death penalty. We will make use of the notion of the contemporary consensus about certain issues, particularly equality of the sexes and the death penalty, found in widespread agreement, though not unanimity. Of course, it is always possible that some consensuses are wrong, or misguided, or mistaken. We should not put too much philosophical weight on the notion of a consensus here. If there is a consensus for the equality of women as citizens, and against the death penalty, this will simply suggest to us that we will want to reconsider Kant’s views on such topics. In both instances mentioned, his views lie outside the current consensus. We will consider how to revise Kant’s views to bring them into accord with these current consensuses, within a theory that is still, in as significant a sense as possible, Kantian. Since the use of the idea of a consensus is a sort of short-cut, there will not be much direct discussion of arguments for or against the equality of women as citizens, or for or against the advisability of using the death penalty. Yet the discussions of these issues will illuminate certain facts about the structure of Kant’s moral and political theories, and about how the basic principles within those theories relate to particular moral applications or topics. If we can still end up with a thoroughly Kantian view on the death penalty, that also will tell us something about the relation of Kantian ethical and legal principles to the death penalty as that issue is discussed today. Opposition to the death penalty in present day circumstances is not at variance with the basic principles of Kantian ethical, political, and legal theory, including his retributivism in the justification of punishment. Indeed, there is a way of revising Kant’s views to bring them into harmony with abolition.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1016104603564
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,478
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Kantian Case Against Torture.Peter Brian Barry - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (4):593-621.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Derrida: Opposing Death Penalties.Marguerite la Caze - 2009 - Derrida Today 2 (2):186-199.
Kant on Capital Punishment and Suicide.Attila Ataner - 2006 - Kant-Studien 97 (4):452-482.
Rigor; or, Stupid Uselessness.Geoffrey Bennington - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (s1):20-38.
Aggravated Murder and Capital Punishment.Tom Sorell - 1993 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 10 (2):201-213.
Desert, Justice and Capital Punishment.Patrick Lenta & Douglas Farland - 2008 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (3):273-290.
The Irrevocability of Capital Punishment.Benjamin S. Yost - 2011 - Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (3):321-340.
Retributivist Arguments Against Capital Punishment.Thom Brooks - 2004 - Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2):188–197.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
84 ( #63,318 of 2,180,555 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #302,815 of 2,180,555 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums