Chapter

Offensive Nuisances

Joel Feinberg

in The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law: Volume 2: Offense to Others

Published in print May 1988 | ISBN: 9780195052152
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785872 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195052153.003.0001
 Offensive Nuisances

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The offense principle requires that an unpleasant state of mind or offense be produced wrongfully by another party, but not that it be an offense in the strict sense of ordinary language. The legislative problem of determining when offensive conduct is a public or criminal nuisance could be expressed, with equal accuracy, as a problem about determining the extent of personal privacy or autonomy. The former way of describing the matter lends itself to talk of balancing the independent value or reasonableness of the offending conduct against the seriousness of the offense cause, whereas the latter way lends itself to talk of drawing boundaries between the various private domains of persons, and between private domains of a person and the public world.

Keywords: offense principle; nuisance; privacy; offensive conduct

Chapter.  11124 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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