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Retributivists! The harm principle is not for you!

Tomlin, P. (2014) Retributivists! The harm principle is not for you! Ethics, 124 (2). pp. 272-298. ISSN 0014-1704

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1086/673437


Retributivism is often explicitly or implicitly assumed to be compatible with the harm principle, since the harm principle (in some guises) concerns the content of the criminal law, whilst retributivism concerns the punishment of those that break the law. In this essay I show that retributivism should not be endorsed alongside any version of the harm principle. For some versions of the harm principle, this is because retributivism is logically incompatible with it, or its grounds. For others, retributivists can only endorse the harm principle at the cost of endorsing implausible positions about the content of the criminal law.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:32761
Publisher:University of Chicago Press


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