Philosophy and the Criminal Law: Principle and Critique

Philosophy and the Criminal Law: Principle and Critique

Hardback Cambridge Studies in Philosophy & Law

By (author) R. A. Duff, Series edited by Gerald J. Postema, Series edited by Jules L. Coleman, Series edited by Antony Duff, Series edited by David Lyons, Series edited by D.Neil MacCormick, Series edited by Stephen R. Munzer, Series edited by Philip Pettit, Series edited by Joseph Raz, Series edited by Jeremy Waldron


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  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 23mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 22 December 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521550440
  • ISBN 13: 9780521550444
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

Five pre-eminent legal theorists tackle a range of fundamental questions on the nature of the philosophy of criminal law. Their essays explore the extent to which and the ways in which our systems of criminal law can be seen as rational and principled. The essays discuss some of the principles by which, it is often thought, a system of law should be structured, and they ask whether our own systems are genuinely principled or riven by basic contradictions, reflecting deeper political and social conflicts. The volume as a whole shows how lively and exciting contemporary legal theory can be.

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Review quote

"...the volume is a rousing success and is essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in criminal law theory or the justification of punishment." William A. Edmundson, Philosophy in Review "If the quality of this offering is representative of what is to come, we have much to look forward to in subsequent volumes. This volume is recommended without hesitation to all philosophers of law, especially as the basis for a graduate the very least the tentative steps these disputing authors make toward one another's positions allow us to see better what is really at issue: and surely this feature alone marks this book as one deserving of careful consideration." Review of Metaphysics

Table of contents

Introduction Antony Duff; 1. Contingency, coherence and conceptualism: reflections on the encounter between 'critique' and 'the philosophy of the criminal law' Nicola Lacey; 2. Does criminal liability require an act? Douglas Husak; 3. 'Simulacra of morality?' Beyond the ideal/actual antinomies of criminal justice Alan Norrie; 4. Principle and contradiction in the criminal law: motives and criminal liability Antony Duff; 5. On the general part of the criminal law John Gardner.