Authors
Kenneth Simons
University of California, Irvine
Abstract
In criminal law, the mental state of the defendant is a crucial determinant of the grade of crime that the defendant has committed and of whether the conduct is criminal at all. Under the widely accepted modern hierarchy of mental states, an actor is most culpable for causing harm purposely and progressively less culpable for doing so knowingly, recklessly, or negligently. Notably, this hierarchy emphasizes cognitive rather than conative mental states. But this emphasis, I argue, is often unjustified. When we punish and blame for wrongful acts, we should look beyond the cognitive dimensions of the actor’s culpability and should consider affective and volitional dimensions as well, including the actor’s intentions, motives, and attitudes. One promising alternative mental state is the attitude of culpable indifference. However, we must proceed carefully when permitting criminal liability to turn on culpable indifference and similar attitudes, lest we punish vicious or unvirtuous feelings that are no..
Keywords indifference  culpability  recklessness  negligence
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DOI 10.1080/0020174X.2015.986853
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References found in this work BETA

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Culpable Ignorance.Holly Smith - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (4):543-571.
Defending Double Effect.Ralph Wedgwood - 2011 - Ratio 24 (4):384-401.
Virtuous Act, Virtuous Dispositions.Thomas Hurka - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):69-76.

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