Chapter

Rationalizing the Criminalization of Attempt

Gideon Yaffe

in Attempts

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590667
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595530 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590667.003.0002
Rationalizing the Criminalization of Attempt

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Typically, when the legislature defines a crime it also, thereby, makes it a crime to attempt the crime defined. The legislature thus appears to rely on the following principle: if it is justifiable to criminalize a type of behavior, then it is justifiable to criminalize an attempt of that type of behavior. This chapter considers and rejects a variety of possible rationales that might be offered for this principle—including that attempts are justifiably criminalized because they risk completion—and offers an alternative. Under the view defended, it is thanks to two commonalities between completion and attempt that the principle is true: completers and attempters recognize and respond to reasons in the same ways, and they are both guided by the conception of reasons that they share.

Keywords: attempt; criminalization; risk; reasons; guidance

Chapter.  13734 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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