Public Reason 2 (1):85-93 (2010)

Michael Cholbi
University of Edinburgh
David Boonin has recently argued that although no existing theory of legal punishment provides adequate moral justification for the practice of punishing criminal wrongdoing, compulsory victim restitution (CVR) is a morally justified response to such wrongdoing. Here I argue that Boonin’s thesis is false because CVR is a form of punishment. I first support this claim with an argument that Boonin’s denial that CVR is a form of punishment requires a groundless distinction between a state’s response to a criminal offense and its response to an offender’s failure to comply with the sanctions imposed for that offense. I then suggest that this argument points to a definition of punishment that not only meets Boonin’s own desiderata for a definition of punishment but also implies that CVR is a form of punishment. Finally, I argue that CVR is a form of punishment even under Boonin’s own proposed definition of punishment.
Keywords punishment  retributivism  harm  intention  restitution
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References found in this work BETA

Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Two Concepts of Rules.John Rawls - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (1):3-32.
On Action.Carl Ginet - 1990 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:321-332.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Punitive Intent.Nathan Hanna - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):655 - 669.
Non‐Paradigmatic Punishments.Helen Brown Coverdale & Bill Wringe - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12824.

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