Social Philosophy

An Expressive Theory of Punishment (Palgrave Studies in by William Wringe

By William Wringe

This e-book argues that punishment's functionality is to speak a message approximately an offenders' wrongdoing to society at huge. It discusses either 'paradigmatic' circumstances of punishment, the place a kingdom punishes its personal voters, and non-paradigmatic situations similar to the punishment of organizations and the punishment of conflict criminals via foreign tribunals.

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We might understand ‘burdensome’ in a way in which it follows from the fact that I have imposed burdensome treatment on X that X has actually been burdened. On my account of 24 Ancient Stoics like Epictetus held that ‘the only way I can be harmed is to become less virtuous’ (Epictetus 1928 passim). My argument does not require that the reader accept the Stoic view, but only that someone else might do so. 28 An Expressive Theory of Punishment harshness, it does not follow from the fact that X has been punished that they have actually been burdened.

It is plausible, given my characterization of harsh treatment, that no institution could inflict harsh treatment on a regular basis without it being foreseeable that some individuals will be caused to suffer. But we can distinguish between an outcome’s being foreseen and its being intended. One way of doing so is to ask what an agent’s response would be if the foreseen event did not occur. Suppose, then, that the miraculous does occur: wrongdoers are treated in a way which would typically cause suffering to individuals like them – but – on a one in a million chance – they do not suffer.

It may be that I am mistaken in this belief. ) Different expressivists explain why we need burdensome treatment to achieve the communicative goals of punishment in various different ways. For example, Duff suggests that in punishing an individual, we are communicating something to him or her about the wrongness of his or her action in the hope that this will bring about repentance and remorse. 19 Bennett argues that the imposition of something burdensome is a way in which the state 16 17 18 19 Bennett 2008.

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