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Law and Philosophy Library

Why Criminalize?

New Perspectives on Normative Principles of Criminalization

Authors: Petersen, Thomas Søbirk

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  • Offers a brand new criticism of well-known and central principles of criminalization
  • Delivers the first modern (since the days of Bentham and Mill) defense of a utilitarian principle of criminalization
  • Advances our thoughts and reasons for action about a very important question that concerns us all, namely by which moral principle(s) should the state’s criminalization decisions be guided?
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eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-34690-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-34689-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The book defines and critically discusses the following five principles: the harm principle, legal paternalism, the offense principle, legal moralism and the dignity principle of criminalization. The book argues that all five principles raise important problems that point to rejections (or at least a rethink) of standard principles of criminalization.

The book shows that one of the reasons why we should reject or revise standard principles of criminalization is that even the most plausible versions of the harm principle and legal paternalism that have been offered so far are rendered redundant by general moral theories. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the other three principles (or versions thereof), the offense principle, legal moralism and the dignity principle of criminalization, can either be covered by the harm principle, thus making these principles also redundant, or be seen to have what look like other unacceptable implications (e.g. that versions of legal moralism are based on speculative and incorrect empirical assumptions or violate what is called the criminological levelling-down challenge). As such, there is reason to move beyond traditional principles of criminalization, and instead to investigate alternative principles the state should be guided by when attempting to justify which kinds of conduct should be criminalized. Moreover, this book presents and defends such a principle – the utilitarian principle of criminalization.


About the authors

Thomas Søbirk Petersen, PhD in Moral Philosophy (University of Copenhagen). Professor with special responsibilities in Ethics (University of Roskilde). Thomas is the author of several books and book contributions and has published in Journals such as: Bioethics, Criminal Law and Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Journal of Happiness Studies, Journal of Medical Ethics, Neuroethics, Res Publica, Theoria. He is a member of the Danish Councils of Ethics.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-34690-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-34689-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Why Criminalize?
Book Subtitle
New Perspectives on Normative Principles of Criminalization
Authors
Series Title
Law and Philosophy Library
Series Volume
134
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-34690-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-34690-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-34689-8
Series ISSN
1572-4395
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 149
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics