Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Action and Value in Criminal Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen Shute, John Gardner, and Jeremy Horder

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198258063

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198258063.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

Subjectivism and Objectivism: Towards Synthesis

Subjectivism and Objectivism: Towards Synthesis

(p.212) (p.213) Subjectivism and Objectivism: Towards Synthesis
Action and Value in Criminal Law


Oxford University Press

This chapter retraces some steps in the recent history of the criminal law with a view to illustrating how patterns of academic thought may influence judicial conduct, and how academic theory may foreclose moral deliberation by predetermining outcomes. Both subjectivism and objectivism are such patterns of thought. It is argued that subjectivism is unacceptable on practical, doctrinal, conceptual, and ethical grounds given its impact on the doctrine of mistake, its definitional maximalization, and its overly narrow conception of the moral mission and merit of the criminal law. Objectivism is unacceptable, too, on like grounds, given its contrived conviction of the mentally abnormal offender, and for its tendency to remove questions of fact from the jury and to impose fixed rules of law which render all and any evidence about actual states of mind of real human beings wholly irrelevant. Synthesism is an altogether clearer, more coherent, and ethically more acceptable reconstruction of criminal law.

Keywords:   law, criminal law, academic thought, judicial conduct, moral deliberation, subjectivism, objectivism, synthesism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .