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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' situations of punishment, the place a country punishes its personal voters, and non-paradigmatic situations akin to the punishment of businesses and the punishment of warfare criminals through foreign tribunals.
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Extra info for An Expressive Theory of Punishment
3 On one interpretation this seems as mistaken as the view that punishment expresses reprobation on the part of either the judge or the prison-warder. Even if a law or a form of punishment is unpopular or widely thought to be unjust, it can continue to be in force. Its reprobative function may be undiminished. However, there is another interpretation which seems more plausible. We might think of ‘society’ or ‘the public’ not merely as a collection of individuals, but as a kind of collective agent.
It is plausible that, absent special circumstances, we would find this troubling: it seems unduly voyeuristic. Something similar is true on Bennett’s view. 43 Importantly we can express reactive attitudes in conventional ways; and inflicting treatment which is, in my sense, harsh, can be seen as doing just this. There is no further requirement that the treatment be intended to cause suffering to the particular individual who is being punished. On Duff’s view matters are more complicated. Duff holds that punishment can only be justified if the sorts of treatment which punishment 40 41 42 43 I thank an anonymous reader for suggesting that I make this explicit here.
If punishment involves treatment which is, in my terms, harsh and which is aimed not at causing remorse, but at bringing about a recognition of wrongdoing (with remorse as, presumably, 44 Duff sometimes writes in ways that suggest that this is part of the definition of punishment, and sometimes in ways which do not make it definitional but which do make it integral to the justification of punishment. For an example of the latter see Duff 2001 pp. xiv–xv. For an example of the former see Duff 2009.
An Expressive Theory of Punishment by William Wringe