Translate

Σάββατο, 29 Ιουνίου 2019

Law and Philosophy

Arguing Against the Expressive Function of Punishment: Is the Standard Account that Insufficient?

Abstract

This paper critically appraises the arguments that have been offered for what can be called 'the expressive function of punishment'. According to this view, what distinguishes punishment from other kinds of non-punitive hard treatment is that punishment conveys a censorial/reprobative message about what the punished has done, and that this expressive function should therefore be accepted as part of the nature and definition of punishment. Against this view, this papers argues that the standard account of punishment, according to which punishment is a kind of hard treatment that is imposed on an alleged offender in response to her alleged wrongdoing, can already properly account for punishment and distinguish it from other kinds of hard treatment when it is properly clarified and understood. Thus there is no need to accept the expressive function of punishment in addition to the standard account when it comes to the nature and definition of punishment.



Punishing Wrongs from the Distant Past

Abstract

On a Parfit-inspired account of culpability, as the psychological connections between a person's younger self and older self weaken, the older self's culpability for a wrong committed by the younger self diminishes. Suppose we accept this account and also accept a culpability-based upper limit on punishment severity. On this combination of views, we seem forced to conclude that perpetrators of distant past wrongs should either receive discounted punishments or be exempted from punishment entirely. This article develops a strategy for resisting this conclusion. I propose that, even if the perpetrators of distant past wrongs cannot permissibly be punished for the original wrongs, in typical cases they can permissibly be punished for their ongoing and iterated failures to rectify earlier wrongs. Having set out this proposal, I defend it against three objections, before exploring how much punishment it can justify.



Consent, Communication, and Abandonment

Abstract

According to the Behavioral View of consent, consent must be expressed in behavior in order to release someone from a duty. By contrast, the Mental View of consent is that normatively efficacious consent is entirely mental. In previous work, I defended a version of the Behavioral View, according to which normatively efficacious 'consent always requires public behavior, and this behavior must take the form of communication in the case of high-stakes consent'. In this essay, I respond to two arguments by proponents of the Mental View. First, Larry Alexander, Heidi Hurd and Peter Westen have argued that my view has mistaken implications concerning the culpability of different actors. I counter that my version of the view does not have these implications, as it leaves us free to draw moral and legal distinctions between different offences involving non-consensual behavior. Second, Larry Alexander and Kimberly Ferzan have argued for an analogy between consent and abandonment: on the grounds that the normative power to abandon resides in one's will, Alexander and Ferzan concludes consent does too. I counter that abandonment requires behavior, and call into question the assumption that the ethics of property have much to teach us about the ethics of sexual consent.



Why Inconclusiveness is a Problem for Public Reason

Abstract

Most theorists of public reason, including both its proponents and critics, now accept that it is inconclusive, meaning that its correct application can result in a plurality of reasonable solutions to the issues it addresses. While some early critics argued that the inconclusiveness of public reason presented a serious problem for political legitimacy – a charge often associated with 'the completeness objection' – defenders of public reason have generally dismissed this objection on the grounds that political legitimacy does not hinge on the selection of a singularly reasonable or most reasonable resolution to political disputes. We argue, however, that once the notion of political legitimacy accepted by prominent public reason theorists has been successfully disambiguated, the inconclusiveness of public reason is far more problematic than public reason theorists have acknowledged.



The Feasibility of a Public Interest Defense for Whistleblowing

Abstract

It is commonly stated, by both whistleblower protection laws and political philosophers, that a breach of state secrecy by disclosing classified documents is justified if it serves the public interest. The problem with this defense of justified whistleblowing, however, is that the operative term – the public interest – is all too often left unclarified. This is problematic, because it leaves potential whistleblowers without sufficient certainty that their disclosures will be covered by the defense, leading many to err on the side of caution and remain silent, depriving the public of much-needed information. Failing an agreed upon definition of the public interest or a process to determine it, judges' applications of the public interest in whistleblowing cases have been criticized for demonstrating 'judicial idiosyncrasy'. The present paper, therefore, sets out to (1) provide some clarity concerning the concept of the public interest, and (2) to ascertain the extent to which a public interest defense for whistleblowing is feasible and desirable.



Is Sincerity the First Virtue of Social Institutions? Police, Universities, and Free Speech

Abstract

In the final chapter of Speech Matters, Seana Shiffrin argues that institutions have especially stringent duties to protect speech freedoms. In this article, I develop a few lines of criticism. First, I question whether Shiffrin's framework of justified suspended contexts is appropriate for institutional settings. Second, I challenge the presumption that the knowledge-gathering function performed by police is necessarily compromised by insincere practices. Third, I criticize Shiffrin's characterization of the university as involving a complete repudiation of enforced consensus, and I express doubts about the close connection between education and democratic legitimation that Shiffrin endorses. Finally, I raise a problem with the book's overall argument: even if one agrees that speech freedoms are necessary for moral development, they also may be threatening to moral development. The upshot is that the protection of speech should be modulated in order to account for the potential conflicts between sincerity and other valuable ends, rather than being oriented above all to sincerity.



Law as a Social Construction and Conceptual Legal Theory

Abstract

A currently popular view among legal positivists is that law is a social construction. Many of the same legal philosophers also argue that before one can study law empirically, one needs to know what it is. At the heart of this paper is the claim that these two propositions are inconsistent. It presents the following dilemma: if law is a social construction like all other social constructions, then legal philosophers have to explain what philosophers have to contribute to understanding it. Studies of social constructions are typically conducted by historians, sociologists, and others, who explain them (and what they are) on the basis of empirical data. If, as legal philosophers claim, conceptual clarification must precede empirical work, then it follows that the lack of conceptual work on the nature of other social constructions renders suspect all empirical work on them. To avoid such a radical conclusion, legal philosophers may argue instead that law is a social construction of a special kind. But to say that is to undermine the premise with which the argument began. Moreover, this response to the dilemma collapses what is now taken to be what separates legal positivism from natural law theory, thus undermining the motivation for this view. I conclude the essay by offering a different solution to the dilemma by suggesting that it shows that the fundamental debates of legal philosophy are not conceptual but political.



What's Special about the Insult of Paternalism?

Abstract

A common assumption is that paternalism generates a special, and especially grievous, insult. Identifying this distinctive insult is then presented as the key to unlocking the concept and determining its moral significance. I submit that there is no special insult. It is, rather, a particular form that a lack of recognition respect can take. Attempting to capture the special insult has led us into confusion. In particular, it has led theorists to abandon the idea that paternalists must act for the sake of the individual whose agency they supplant, and even the notion that paternalistic action requires a distinctive motivation at all. I argue that paternalistic actions must come from a place of care and concern for the paternalised agent and show that this explains the moral significance of paternalism since it tempers the general insult that such actions deliver and provides a partial defence when paternalism is misguided.



Conscientious objection and equality laws: Why the content of the conscience matters

Abstract

By enacting equality laws the liberal state decides the limits of liberal tolerance by relying on content-based rather than content-neutral considerations. Equality laws are not and cannot be neutral. They reflect a content-based moral decision about the importance and weight of the principle of equality vis-à-vis other rights or interests. This leads to the following conclusions: First, since equality laws in liberal democracies reflect moral-liberal values, conscientious objections to equality laws rely, almost by definition, on unjustly intolerant, anti-liberal and morally repugnant values. Secondly, we should not shy away from explicitly relying on moral-liberal views when deciding whether it is justified to grant exemptions from equality laws. Thirdly, conscientious objections to equality laws should normally not be tolerated or accommodated by the state, because conscientious objections that rely on what is rightly perceived as unjustly intolerant, anti-liberal and morally repugnant values should not be tolerated in a tolerant-liberal democracy.



Punishment, Fair Play and the Burdens of Citizenship

Abstract

The fair-play theory of punishment claims that the state is justified in imposing additional burdens on law-breakers, to remove the unfair advantage the latter have enjoyed by disobeying the law. From this perspective, punishment reestablishes a fair distribution of benefits and burdens among all citizens. In this paper, I object to this view by focusing on the case of civil disobedience. I argue that the mere illegality of this conduct is insufficient to establish the agent's unfair advantage over his lawabiding fellows, hence the imposition of additional burdens upon him through legal punishment. I articulate a broader account of citizens' fair-play duties, able to capture disobedience as well as obedience to the law. While claiming that some law-breakers may not be treated as free-riders, I also gesture at the fact that some law-obeying citizens may not be 'playing fair': in some cases, a failure to engage in civil disobedience represents a failure to do one's own part within the cooperative scheme of society.



Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos
Crete.Greece.72100
2841026182
6948891480

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου

Αρχειοθήκη ιστολογίου

Translate