This chapter focuses on punishment. It contrasts the communicative ambitions of state punishment with those of civil disobedience, and identifies three problems for the former. Monistic communicative theorists such as Antony Duff say that punishment is a liberal state’s effort to engage offenders in a moral dialogue about their conduct. The problems with this claim are the Scripting Problem, the Generic-Script Problem, and the Status Change Problem. It is argued that, in contrast with a monistic theory, a pluralistic communicative theory of punishment can have dialogic ambitions because, in principle, it can be sensitive to offenders’ communicative efforts.
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