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Punishment, Responsibility, and JusticeA Relational Critique$
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Alan Norrie

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198259565

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259565.001.0001

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The Limits of Kantian Justice

The Limits of Kantian Justice

(p.21) 2 The Limits of Kantian Justice
Punishment, Responsibility, and Justice


Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at current debates in criminal justice thinking and identifies dialectical themes of connection and false separation. It proceeds by employing a method of immanent critique to show how philosophically sophisticated, state-of-the-art, accounts of liberal criminal justice theory reveal its inherent limits, contradictions, and problems. The first account, by Antony Duff, is a defence of criminal justice thinking against the critical charge that the criminal law is inherently composed of contradictions, and it therefore discusses the commitment of liberal theory to a rationalistic model of criminal justice. This involves a false separation of issues that are intrinsically connected, but one that is as necessary to create as it is impossible to defend if a moral view of criminal justice is to be attempted. The second essay, by John Gardner, itself presents a telling critique, of Aristotelian provenance, of the limits of a Kantian account of the individual within criminal justice thinking.

Keywords:   Kantian justice, criminal justice, Antony Duff, John Gardner, false separation, criminal law, liberal theory, contradictions

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