Future law: Prepunishment and the causal theory of verdicts

Noûs 40 (1):166–183 (2006)
The poster boy for my paper is the King's Messenger in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. Recall that since the White Queen lives backwards, her memory works forwards. She pities Alice who can only remember things after they happen. Alice asks which things the Queen remembers best: `Oh, things that happened the week after next,' the Queen replied in a careless tone. `For instance, . . . there's the King's Messenger. He's in prison now, being punished: and the trial doesn't even begin till next Wednesday: and of course the crime comes last of all.' (Chapter V) Is the King's Messenger being treated unjustly? Why not prepunish people for their future crimes? True, it is generally easier to have knowledge about past crimes than future crimes. But is unpredictability the only problem with prepunishment?
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DOI 10.1111/j.0029-4624.2006.00605.x
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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Thought.Gilbert Harman - 1973 - Princeton University Press.
Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point.R. M. Hare (ed.) - 1981 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
A Causal Theory of Knowing.Alvin I. Goldman - 1967 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (12):357-372.

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