The death penalty and the principle of goodness

House, Ron (2007) The death penalty and the principle of goodness. In: The 2007 Conference of the Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP 2007), 1-6 July 2007, Armidale, NSW, Australia.


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[Abstract]: This paper examines the death penalty question from the perspective of the new ethical theory, the Principle of Goodness. At first sight, the Principle seems to be a strictly tighter moral principle than Kant’s categorical imperative; yet we find that the application diverges from the recommendations of Kant in this case. Unlike many discussions of this question, which often argue either no, or yes with a discussion of which crimes are ‘bad enough’ to deserve the penalty, we find that the ethical guidance from this Principle allows one to either argue for no death penalty, or for a death penalty, the conditions for its application being remarkably clear compared with much contemporary and historical argument. It will be assumed that the reader is familiar with a range of existing argument on the topic, and the paper will develop its own theme with contrast where necessary against Kant’s principles and utilitarian-style arguments.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions on web site.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:16
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethics, moral philosophy, Principle of Goodness, death penalty, public policy
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220305 Ethical Theory
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220104 Human Rights and Justice Issues
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220204 History and Philosophy of Law and Justice

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