Philosophical Studies 162 (2):143-163 (2013)

Authors
Benjamin Vilhauer
City College of New York (CUNY)
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to provide a justification of punishment which can be endorsed by free will skeptics, and which can also be defended against the "using persons as mere means" objection. Free will skeptics must reject retributivism, that is, the view that punishment is just because criminals deserve to suffer based on their actions. Retributivists often claim that theirs is the only justification on which punishment is constrained by desert, and suppose that non-retributive justifications must therefore endorse treating the people punished as mere means to social ends. Retributivists typically presuppose a monolithic conception of desert: they assume that action-based desert is the only kind of desert. But there are also personhood-based desert claims, that is, desert claims which depend not on facts about our actions, but instead on the more abstract fact that we are persons. Since personhood-based desert claims do not depend on facts about our actions, they do not depend on moral responsibility, so free will skeptics can appeal to them just as well as retributivists. What people deserve based on the mere fact of their personhood is to be treated as they would rationally consent to be treated if all they had in view was the mere fact of their personhood. We can work out the implications of this view for punishment by developing a hypothetical consent justification in which we select principles of punishment in the Rawlsian original position, so long as we are careful not to smuggle in the retributivist assumption that it is under our control whether we end up as criminals or as law-abiding citizens once we raise the veil of ignorance
Keywords Free will  Personhood  Desert  Retributivism  Rawls  Free will skepticism  Moral responsibility  Punishment  Due process  Kant
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9752-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
The Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - Cambridge University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Utilitarianism: For and Against.J. J. C. Smart & Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Skepticism About Moral Responsibility.Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018):1-81.
Free Will Agnosticism.Stephen Kearns - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):235-252.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 489-511.
Retributivist Arguments Against Capital Punishment.Thom Brooks - 2004 - Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2):188–197.
Two Claims About Desert.Nathan Hanna - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):41-56.
Retributivism Revisited.Nathan Hanna - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):473-484.
Objections to the Systematic Imposition of Punitive Torture.Stephen Kershnar - 1999 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 13 (1):47-56.
Rehabilitating Retributivism.Mitchell N. Berman - 2013 - Law and Philosophy 32 (1):83-108.
Revisionism and Desert.Lene Bomann-Larsen - 2010 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Fallibility and Retribution.Göran Duus-Otterström - 2010 - Law and Philosophy 29 (3):337-369.
Partial Desert.Tamler Sommers - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
Making Sense of Retributivism.J. Angelo Corlett - 2001 - Philosophy 76 (1):77-110.
Reciprocity as a Justification for Retributivism.Jami L. Anderson - 1997 - Criminal Justice Ethics 16 (1):13-25.
Retributivism and Fallible Systems of Punishment.George Schedler - 2011 - Criminal Justice Ethics 30 (3):240-266.
Moral Desert: A Critique.Howard Simmons - 2010 - University Press of America.
The Fitting, the Deserving, and the Beautiful.Leo Zaibert - 2006 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (3):331-350.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-04-27

Total views
825 ( #7,256 of 2,455,086 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
138 ( #4,046 of 2,455,086 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes