Less blame, less crime? the practical implications of moral responsibility skepticism

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Abstract

Most philosophers believe that wrongdoers sometimes deserve to be punished by long prison sentences. They also believe that such punishments are justified by their consequences: they deter crime and incapacitate potential offenders. In this article, I argue that both these claims are false. No one deserves to be punished, I argue, because our actions are shot through with direct or indirect luck. I also argue that there are good reasons to think that punishing fewer people and much less harshly will have better social consequences, at a reduced overall cost, then the long prison sentences that are usually seen as required for social protection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of practical ethics
Volume3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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