Kimberley Brownlee

in Conscience and Conviction

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199592944
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746109 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Legal Philosophy


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This chapter focuses on punishment. It contrasts the communicative ambitions of state punishment with those of civil disobedience, and identifies three problems for the former. Monistic communicative theorists such as Antony Duff say that punishment is a liberal state’s effort to engage offenders in a moral dialogue about their conduct. The problems with this claim are the Scripting Problem, the Generic-Script Problem, and the Status Change Problem. It is argued that, in contrast with a monistic theory, a pluralistic communicative theory of punishment can have dialogic ambitions because, in principle, it can be sensitive to offenders’ communicative efforts.

Keywords: punishment; dialogue; respect; communicative theory; retribution; civil disobedience; Antony Duff

Chapter.  11684 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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