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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Play Fair With Recidivists, Richard Dagger Jan 2012

Play Fair With Recidivists, Richard Dagger

Political Science Faculty Publications

Retributivists thus face a difficult challenge. Either we must go against the social grain, and perhaps our own intuitions, by insisting that a criminal offense carry the same penalty or punishment no matter how many previous convictions an offender has accrued; or we must find a way to justify the recidivist premium. I shall take the second route here by arguing that recidivism itself is a kind of criminal offense. In developing this argument, I shall rely on Youngjae Lee's insightful analysis of "recidivism as omission." I shall complement his analysis, however, by grounding it in a conception of ...


The Principle Of Fairness And States’ Duty To Obey International Law, David Lefkowitz Jul 2011

The Principle Of Fairness And States’ Duty To Obey International Law, David Lefkowitz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Philosophers and political theorists have developed a number of different justifications for the duty to obey domestic law. The possibility of using one (or more) of these justifications to demonstrate that states have a duty to obey international law seems a natural starting point for an analysis of international political obligation. Amongst the accounts of the duty to obey domestic law, one that appears to have a great deal of intuitive appeal, and that has attracted a significant number of philosophical defenders, is the principle of fairness (or fair play). In this paper, I examine the possibility of using the ...


Social Contracts, Fair Play, And The Justification Of Punishment, Richard Dagger Jan 2011

Social Contracts, Fair Play, And The Justification Of Punishment, Richard Dagger

Political Science Faculty Publications

In recent years, the counterintuitive claim that criminals consent to their own punishment has been revived by philosophers who attempt to ground the justification of punishment in some version of the social contract. In this paper, I examine three such attempts—“contractarian” essays by Christopher Morris and Claire Finkelstein and an essay by Corey Brettschneider from the rival “contractualist” camp—and I find all three unconvincing. Each attempt is plausible, I argue, but its plausibility derives not from the appeal to a social contract but from considerations of fair play. Rather than look to the social contract for a justification ...


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.