Utilitas 9 (1):23-37 (1997)

Abstract
This paper examines the commonplace assertion that utilitarianism allows for and even, at times, requires the punishment of the innocent. It traces the origins of this doctrine to the writings of the British Idealists and the subsequent development of what is called the post-utilitarian paradigm which posits various justifications for punishment such as retribution, deterrence and reform, finds all of them inadequate, and then, with the addition of other ideas, reconciles them. The idea of deterrence is falsely depicted as the utilitarian contribution to the theory of punishment, while deterrence in fact is one of several elements in the utilitarian theory. The mistake comes from ignoring the pain-pleasure dimension of Benthamite utilitarianism and from regarding the principle of utility itself as the sole criterion of action in a ‘top-down’ fashion.
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820800005112
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References found in this work BETA

An Examination of Restricted Utilitarianism.H. J. McCloskey - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (4):466-485.
A Non-Utilitarian Approach to Punishment.H. J. McCloskey - 1965 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 8 (1-4):249 – 263.
Punishment.J. D. Mabbott - 1939 - Mind 48 (190):152-167.

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Citations of this work BETA

Kant's Theory of Punishment.Thom Brooks - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (2):206.
Bentham and the Death Penalty.Brian Calvert - 2006 - Dialogue 45 (2):211-231.

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