By Alasdair MacIntyre
Hugely debatable while it used to be first released in 1981, Alasdair MacIntyre's After advantage has due to the fact that confirmed itself as a landmark paintings in modern ethical philosophy. during this booklet, MacIntyre sought to handle a quandary in ethical language that he traced again to a ecu Enlightenment that had made the formula of ethical rules more and more tough. within the look for a manner out of this deadlock, MacIntyre returns to an previous strand of moral considering, that of Aristotle, who emphasized the significance of 'virtue' to the moral existence. greater than thirty years after its unique ebook, After advantage continues to be a piece that's most unlikely to disregard for somebody attracted to our knowing of ethics and morality at the present time.
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Additional resources for After Virtue (Bloomsbury Revelations)
If you are mistakenly convicted of an offense you did not commit, then the judge may believe that she is punishing you and may throw you in jail with this intention, but the harm she imposes on you cannot, strictly speaking, be a punishment. An innocent person can suffer the harms caused by a particular punishment but cannot, strictly speaking, be punished. 24 The claim that an innocent person cannot, strictly speaking, be punished seems to be correct. Indeed, it seems to be as clearly correct, and for the same basic reason, as is the claim that a person who has not loaned money to someone cannot, strictly speaking, be repaid.
And so, once again, there is no reason to think that the existence of a legal requirement logically entails the existence of a practice of punishing people who violate it. But let us now suppose that the entailment claim can somehow be sustained. Even if this is so, the argument from this claim to the conclusion that the problem of punishment is a pseudoproblem must still be rejected. 45 If issuing a legal requirement means issuing a specific kind of rule, one that commits one to intentionally harm those who violate it, then what makes it permissible to issue this kind of rule in the first place?
2 What the Problem of Punishment Is 29 short, involves the state’s treating some of its citizens in ways that it would clearly be wrong to treat others. The problem is to explain how this can be morally permissible. There have, of course, been many attempts to do this, and I will attempt to provide a critical response to them in the chapters that follow. Before doing so, however, I want to attend to two final preliminary considerations. First, I want to respond to a few reasons that have been given for thinking that there is no need for the defender of punishment to shoulder this burden.