Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):57 - 81 (1996)

Eric Reitan
Oklahoma State University
There seems to be nearly universal agreement that society cannot do without some form of criminal punishment. At the same time, it is generally acknowledged that punishment, involving as it does the imposition of hardship and suffering, stands in need of justification. What form such a justification should take, however, is a matter of considerable contention, in part because of basic theoretical disagreements on the nature of moral obligation, and in part because of disagreements concerning the nature and purpose of criminal punishment itself.These disagreements have given rise to a number of rival ‘theories’ of punishment - rival accounts of the purposes of punishment and the conditions which justify it. The traditional theories can be broadly categorized as deterrence theories, incapacitation theories, retributive theories, and rehabilitative theories. My purpose here is to contribute to this discussion on punishment by introducing a largely overlooked theory of punishment, one whose outlines can be found in the writings of Simone Wei!, but which has yet to be fully developed and discussed. This theory, which I call the ‘reintegrative theory,’ has, I believe, a number of advantages over more traditional theories of punishment.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.1996.10717444
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The Moral Education Theory of Punishment.Jean Hampton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (3):208-238.
A Paternalistic Theory of Punishment.Herbert Morris - 1981 - American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (4):263 - 271.
Can Punishment Morally Educate?Russ Shafer-Landau - 1991 - Law and Philosophy 10 (2):189 - 219.

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