Crime and Punishment

Mike W. Martin

in From Morality to Mental Health

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195304718
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786572 | DOI:

Series: Practical and Professional Ethics

 Crime and Punishment

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This chapter presents an integrated, moral-therapeutic perspective on crime and punishment. It begins by noting how the morality-therapy dichotomy constricted classical debates about punishment. Using as examples kleptomania (compare compulsive gambling) and drug abuse (compare alcoholism), it is shown how serious crime can be both a wrongdoing and a sickness. These examples are familiar in debates about therapeutic approaches to crime, and they provide continuity with the preceding discussions of addictions. The chapter then discusses the possibility of extending a moral-therapeutic approach to other serious crime, and concludes with comments on legal insanity.

Keywords: moral-therapeutic perspective; kleptomania; drug abuse; wrongdoing; sickness; legal insanity; morality; therapy

Chapter.  4324 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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