Reflections on Crime and Culpability

Reflections on Crime and Culpability : Problems and Puzzles

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In 2009, Larry Alexander and Kimberly Ferzan published Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law. The book set out a theory that those who deserve punishment should receive punishment commensurate with, but no greater than, that which they deserve. Reflections on Crime and Culpability: Problems and Puzzles expands on their innovative ideas on the application of punishment in criminal law. Theorists working in criminal law theory presuppose or ignore puzzles that lurk beneath the surface. Now those who wish to examine these topics will have one monograph that combines the disparate puzzles in criminal law through a unified approach to culpability. Along with some suggestions as to how they might resolve the puzzles, Alexander and Ferzan lay out the arguments and analysis so future scholars can engage with questions about our understanding of culpability that very few have addressed.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 234 pages
  • 151 x 227 x 13mm | 330g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1316612619
  • 9781316612613
  • 2,060,134

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Crime and culpability: recounting the basic picture; Part I. Problems and Puzzles of Risking: 2. Risking other people's riskings; 3. Risks and 'other law' beliefs; 4. Omissions and culpable riskings: problems, problems; 5. Is there a case for proxy crimes? Part II. Problems and Puzzles of Culpability: 6. Moral ignorance; 7. The violator of deontological constraints; 8. Mass murders, recidivists, and volume discounts; Part III. Problems and Puzzles of Punishment: 9. The problem of psychological disconnection between the culpable actor and the person to be punished; 10. Distributing retributive desert; Part IV. Conclusion: 11. Conclusion; Index.
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Review quote

'Alexander and Ferzan consider an extremely wide range of important problems, both familiar and novel, in the philosophy of criminal law and punishment. Their work is punchy, interesting, entertaining, sharply argued, and right at the cutting edge. There are few people that I agree with less, or enjoy reading more.' Victor Tadros, University of Warwick 'When Alexander and Ferzan - two of our most original and stimulating criminal law theorists - offer a tour of the field's 'problems and puzzles', the smart move is to hop aboard. Readers not fully persuaded by Ferzander's heterodox yet rigorous arguments are nonetheless bound to emerge unsettled, and provoked to deeper thought.' Mitchell Berman, University of Pennsylvania Law School 'Alexander and Ferzan are deft deployers of analytic rigor to solve the puzzles and paradoxes that criminal law produces. Many will disagree with their creative and often elegant solutions, but all readers will be challenged and learn from this book. It is an indispensable work of criminal law theory.' Stephen J. Morse, University of Pennsylvania Law School
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About Larry Alexander

Larry Alexander is the Warren Distinguished Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law. He is the author or co-author of five monographs, including Demystifying Legal Reasoning (Cambridge, 2008) with Emily Sherwin and Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law (Cambridge, 2009) with Kimberly Ferzan. He is also the editor of four anthologies, and the author or co-author of multiple articles, essays, and book chapters on topics of legal theory, constitutional law, and moral philosophy. Kimberly Kessler Ferzan is Harrison Robertson Professor of Law and an affiliated member of the Philosophy Department at the University of Virginia. She is the co-editor of two anthologies, the author of numerous articles in criminal law theory, and the co-author of Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law (Cambridge, 2009), with Larry Alexander. Her paper, 'Beyond Crime and Commitment', was selected for the 2013 American Philosophical Association's Berger Memorial Prize.
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