An Idealist justification of punishment: Kant, Hegel and the problem of punishment

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Though it involves significant harms and is a widespread and entrenched practice, legal punishment lacks a sure philosophical footing. In spite of frequent attempts by utilitarians, retributivists and so called "mixed solution" advocates (particularly during the twentieth century) the problem of justifying punishment remains. This book aims to redress this shortcoming by turning to the German thinkers Kant and Hegel and their idealism (rather than simply their retributivism) to fashion punishment's justification. In the case of Kant this is achieved by developing his construction of justice, while for Hegel it involves taking seriously his theory of recognition and aspects of his logic. In applying ideas from this tradition to a contemporary problem, this book will appeal to both those interested in Kant and Hegel scholarship and its recent resurgence, as well as to students of jurisprudence.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSaarbrücken
PublisherVDM Verlag Dr. Müller
Number of pages212
ISBN (Print)9783639009637
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Kant, Immanuel, 1724-1804
  • Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1770-1831
  • Idealism, German
  • Punishment--Philosophy
  • Justice


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