The Intrinsic Good of Justice

Rosebury, Brian John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6154-2685 (2019) The Intrinsic Good of Justice. Ratio Juris, 32 (2). pp. 193-209. ISSN 0952-1917

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Some retributivists claim that when we punish wrongdoers we achieve a good: justice. The paper argues that the idea of justice, though rhetorically freighted with positive value, contains only a small core of universally-agreed meaning; and its development in a variety of competing conceptions simply recapitulates, without resolving, debates within the theory of punishment. If, to break this deadlock, we stipulate an expressly retributivist conception of justice, then we should concede that punishment which is just (in the stipulated sense) may be morally wrong.

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