Kant's Theory of Punishment

Utilitas 15 (2):206 (2003)
Authors
Thom Brooks
Durham University
Abstract
The most widespread interpretation amongst contemporary theorists of Kant's theory of punishment is that it is retributivist. On the contrary, I will argue there are very different senses in which Kant discusses punishment. He endorses retribution for moral law transgressions and consequentialist considerations for positive law violations. When these standpoints are taken into consideration, Kant's theory of punishment is more coherent and unified than previously thought. This reading uncovers a new problem in Kant's theory of punishment. By assuming a potential offender's intentional disposition as Kant does without knowing it for certain, we further exacerbate the opportunity for misdiagnosis
Keywords Kant  punishment  retribution  retributivism
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820800003952
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