Richard L. Lippke is professor of philosophy at James Madison University. He is the author of Radical Business Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield, 1995) and numerous articles on applied moral and political theory. He is currently working on a book manuscript titled Rethinking Imprisonment.
Mixed Theories of Punishment and Mixed Offenders: Some Unresolved Tensions
Article first published online: 2 MAR 2010
2006 The University of Memphis
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 273–295, Summer 2006
How to Cite
Lippke, R. L. (2006), Mixed Theories of Punishment and Mixed Offenders: Some Unresolved Tensions. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 44: 273–295. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00102.x
- Issue published online: 2 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 2 MAR 2010
Mixed theories of legal punishment treat both crime reduction and retributive concerns as irreducibly important and so worthy of inclusion in a single justificatory framework. Yet crime reduction and retributive approaches employ different assumptions about the necessary characteristics of those liable to punishment. Retributive accounts of legal punishment require offenders to be more responsive to moral considerations than do crime reduction accounts. The tensions these different assumptions create are explored in the mixed theories of John Rawls, H. L. A. Hart, and Andrew von Hirsch. It is argued that none of these theories successfully resolve the tensions. The prospects for resolving them are then discussed.