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February 4, 2011

"Empirical Desert and the Moral Economy of Punishment"

The title of this post is the title of this new piece by Professor Zachary Calo available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This paper considers Paul Robinson's theory of empirical desert as an argument for moving beyond the debate between utilitarian and retributivist accounts of punishment.  It is argued that empirical desert, in its attempt to replace philosophy with the insights of the social and biological sciences, fails to ground the foundational act of punishment in an adequate theoretical warrant.  A particular problem confronting empirical desert is that while Robinson shifts the locus of punishment from theory to the intuitions of the relevant community, he does not adequately account for the dynamic process by which communities shape and structure their internal moral life.  As such, the normative nature of punishment is lost in an attempt to salvage it.

February 4, 2011 at 04:34 PM | Permalink


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Does Daubert apply or not apply to the criminal law? If it does, then Biblically based doctrines, doctrines not supported by outcome research are impermissible in our secular nation. What is wrong with the lawyer? Why can't he accept that or move to Iran, where he would be happier?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Feb 5, 2011 12:01:19 PM

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