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Justice and Punishment – The Rationale of Coercion - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Justice and Punishment: The Rationale of Coercion

Matt Matravers


This book attempts to answer the challenge of showing that morality is not a confidence trick or a fetish. It does so by arguing that moral norms are those that rational, self‐interested people could accept. The problem is approached by asking by what right some people punish others, and by comparing recent developments in theories of distributive and retributive justice. The first part of the book considers retributive, utilitarian, and mixed theories of punishment. In the second part, recent theories of distributive justice, especially those of Rawls and Gauthier, are examined. It is argued ... More

Keywords: constructivism, distributive justice, David Gauthier, justice, moral theory, punishment, rational self‐interest, retributive justice, John Rawls, utilitarianism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780198295730
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198295731.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matt Matravers, author
University of York
Author Webpage