Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (1):79–90 (2004)

Authors
Linda Radzik
Texas A&M University
Abstract
In her later writings Jean Hampton develops an expressive theory of punishment she takes to be retributivist. Unlike Feinberg, Hampton claims wrongdoings as well as punishments are expressive. Wrongdoings assert that the victim is less valuable than victimizer. On her view we are obligated to punish because we are obligated to respond to this false assertion. Punishment expresses the moral truth that victim and wrongdoer are equally valuable. We argue that Hampton's argument would work only if she held that exerting power over another provides evidence (albeit defeasible) of one's greater value. This is clearly a premise that neither she nor her readers are likely to accept.
Keywords punishment  retributivism  Hampton  expressivism
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9833.2004.00217.x
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