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Harm and Culpability$
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A. P. Simester and A. T. H. Smith

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198260578

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260578.001.0001

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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: 30 July 2021

Subjectivism, Objectivism and Criminal Attempts

Subjectivism, Objectivism and Criminal Attempts

(p.18) (p.19) 2 Subjectivism, Objectivism and Criminal Attempts
Harm and Culpability

R. A. Duff

Oxford University Press

It is sometimes unhelpful to portray controversies about the proper principles of criminal liability as controversies between ‘subjectivism’ and ‘objectivism’. In some contexts, there seems to be a clear distinction between ‘subjectivist’ and ‘objectivist’ principles of criminal liability, and controversies which embody that distinction. One such context is the law of attempts. Subjectivism distinguishes the subjective realm of choice, intention, and belief from the objective realm of actual facts or effects: what the agent intended and tried to do, or believed to be so, from what actually happened, or was actually so. Criminal liability should depend on culpability, and culpability requires control. If criminal conviction and punishment are to express appropriate blame or censure, then they too must depend in part on the actual or objective character of the criminal's actions.

Keywords:   criminal liability, subjectivism, objectivism, law of attempts, choice, intention, belief, culpability, criminal conviction, punishment

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