Chapter

Conclusion

Alexander Sarch

in Criminally Ignorant

Published in print July 2019 | ISBN: 9780190056575
Published online June 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780190056605 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190056575.003.0011
Conclusion

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The conclusion of Criminally Ignorant: Why the Law Pretends We Know What We Don’t provides an overview of the main takeaways from the book. At its broadest, this is a book about a common legal fiction: the criminal law’s practice of pretending we know what we don’t. Maybe one instinctively feels scandalized by legal fictions. It’s natural to want the law to be honest and accurate. Nonetheless, this book has tried to give reasons not to be so worried and actually get on board with the kind of legal fiction at issue here. The book has argued that equal culpability imputation involves a justified fiction that promotes valuable aims. At least when properly constrained, it is justified for the law to treat you as if you had certain culpability-relevant mental states (like knowledge of inculpatory facts or awareness of risks) that you didn’t literally possess. What justifies it? The same purposes the criminal law generally serves: protecting our core interests, rights, and values.

Keywords: legal fictions; theoretical conclusions; practical upshots; law reform; doctrinal restrictions; new imputation principles; limits on imputation

Chapter.  1421 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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