Philosophical Quarterly 63 (251):269-292 (2013)

Ned Markosian
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Anslem raised a puzzle about mercy: How can anyone (God, say, or a judge) be both just and merciful at the same time? For it seemed to Anselm that justice requires giving people what they deserve, while being merciful involves treating people less harshly than they deserve. This puzzle has led to a number of analyses of mercy. But a strange thing emerges from discussions of this topic: people seem to have wildly divergent intuitions about putative cases of mercy. Examples that are taken by some to be paradigm cases of mercy are seen by others to be clear instances of non-mercy. This phenomenon gives rise to a new puzzle: Why is it that people seem to have such wildly divergent intuitions about putative examples of mercy? This paper proposes a new analysis of mercy that provides solutions to both of these puzzles about mercy
Keywords mercy  justice  contextualism
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9213.12019
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References found in this work BETA

On Mercy.Claudia Card - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (2):182-207.
Mercy.Alwynne Smart - 1968 - Philosophy 43 (166):345 - 359.
Mercy: In Defense of Caprice.George Rainbolt - 1997 - Noûs 31 (2):226-241.
Justice to Mercy.H. Scott Hestevold - 1985 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 46 (2):281-291.
Mercy and Justice.John Kleinig - 1969 - Philosophy 44 (170):341 - 342.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ordinary Men: Genocide, Determinism, Agency, and Moral Culpability.Nigel Pleasants - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (1):3-32.
The Miracle of Mercy.Giordana Campagna - 2021 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 41 (4):1096-1118.

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