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The Ends of HarmThe Moral Foundations of Criminal Law$
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Victor Tadros

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554423.001.0001

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Recognition and Choice

Recognition and Choice

(p.41) 3 Recognition and Choice
The Ends of Harm

Victor Tadros

Oxford University Press

One key claim that retributivists make is that it is intrinsically good that wrongdoers suffer. This chapter provides part of an argument against this view. It explores two different ways of explaining the intuition that many people have that the suffering of wrongdoers is intrinsically good. One is that it is good that wrongdoers recognise that what they have done is wrong, and if they recognise that what they have done is wrong they will almost inevitably suffer. The other explanation is that we have good reason to protect people from suffering by providing them with the opportunity to avoid suffering. We can do so by ensuring that only wrongdoers suffer punishment. Neither idea implies that the suffering of wrongdoers is intrinsically good.

Keywords:   recognition, choice, avoidability, desert, liability, Scanlon

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