Larry Alexander

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Criminal Law

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195314854
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This chapter holds that the criminal law should necessarily be concerned with culpability. Two of its other working assumptions are: that criminal law should be primarily concerned with retributive desert; and that retributive desert is strongly connected to culpability. Culpable acts are culpable in that they manifest insufficient concern for the interests of others. They manifest insufficient concern when the actor wills an action that he believes unleashes a risk of harm to others' morally protected interests, and he does so for reasons which do not justify the risk he believes he has unleashed. The chapter also discusses the risk and reasons analysis; culpability and the traditional account of recklessness; negligence and strict liability; and inchoate crimes.

Keywords: criminal law; culpability; retributive desert; culpable acts; willed action; recklessness; inchoate crimes

Article.  11024 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Law

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