Philosophy 42 (161):245 - 264 (1967)

It is neither possible, nor desirable, to have a system of dealing with criminals that does away with norms. But Lady Wootton sometimes talks as if it is possible and desirable to do away with norms. And she claims that in her pragmatic system norms have been done away with. She believes her pragmatic system of dealing with criminals is, unlike our present system, scientific. There are at least two respects in which she seems to be claiming that her system is scientific, unlike the present system. Firstly, she seems to think that her system is scientific in the sense of being a workable system; she believes that in her system, leaving aside the moral and other limitations that she mentions, the last word ‘is always with the statistician’. Under the present system, on the other hand, she argues, we are asked to answer questions—such as ‘could he have helped what he did?’—which are inherently insoluble
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819100001315
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