Authors
Stephen Kershnar
Fredonia State University
Abstract
In this article I argue that mercy does not prevent the imposition of harsh punishment from being morally permissible. This article has two parts. In the first part, I argue that mercy is an imperfect duty, because only such a duty-type explains the attributes that are commonly ascribed to mercy. In the second part, I argue that mercy does not present a sufficient moral reason against the regular imposition of harsh punishment because it neither undermines nor systematically overrides or weakens the retributive duties. This is in part because the imperfect duty to be merciful can be satisfied by actions taken in nonpunitive contexts alone. This is also in part because mercy is not particularly appropriate given the lack of positive desert of and good moral character in most of the culpable wrongdoers who deserve harsh punishment
Keywords Punishment  Retributivism  Desert  Mercy  Rights
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0739-098X
DOI 10.5840/ijap200014215
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,316
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Mercy.John Tasioulas - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (2):101–132.
Must Punishment Be Intended to Cause Suffering?Bill Wringe - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4):863-877.
Two Puzzles About Mercy.Ned Markosian - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (251):269-292.
Aquinas and the Obligations of Mercy.Shawn Floyd - 2009 - Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (3):449-471.
Unintentional Punishment.Adam J. Kolber - 2012 - Legal Theory 18 (1):1-29.
Punishing Cruelly: Punishment, Cruelty, and Mercy.Paulo D. Barrozo - 2008 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (1):67-84.
Respect for Persons and the Harsh Punishment of Criminals.Stephen Kershnar - 2004 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (1):103-121.
Say What? A Critique of Expressive Retributivism.Nathan Hanna - 2008 - Law and Philosophy 27 (2):123-150.
Making Sense of Retributivism.J. Angelo Corlett - 2001 - Philosophy 76 (1):77-110.
Deserved Punishment.J. L. A. Garcia - 1989 - Law and Philosophy 8 (2):263 - 277.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-01-09

Total views
38 ( #300,887 of 2,519,495 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #205,550 of 2,519,495 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes