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Law

Political Science Faculty Publications

1993

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Play Fair With Punishment, Richard Dagger Apr 1993

Play Fair With Punishment, Richard Dagger

Political Science Faculty Publications

If we want to provide a justification for legal punishment, then, we must answer two distinct questions: (1) What justifies punishment as a social practice? and (2) What justifies punishing particular persons? The principle of fair play is an especially attractive theory of punishment, I shall agree, because it offers plausible and compelling answers to both these questions. I shall also suggest that there is a third question - How should we punish those who commit crimes? - that fair play cannot answer without help from other sources.