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Treatment for CrimePhilosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice$
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David Birks and Thomas Douglas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198758617.001.0001

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Can Neurointerventions Communicate Censure?

Can Neurointerventions Communicate Censure?

(And So What If They Can’t?)

Chapter:
(p.351) 19 Can Neurointerventions Communicate Censure?
Source:
Treatment for Crime
Author(s):

David Birks

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198758617.003.0020

According to some philosophers, a necessary condition of morally permissible punishment is that it communicates deserved censure for the offender’s wrongdoing. The author calls this the Communicative Condition of punishment. The chapter considers whether the use of mandatory crime-preventing neurointerventions is compatible with the Communicative Condition. The author argues that it is not. If we accept the Communicative Condition, it follows that it is impermissible to administer mandatory neurointerventions on offenders as punishment. The author then considers whether it is permissible to offer an offender a neurointervention as a replacement for incarceration or in exchange for a shorter sentence. He notes that this could meet the Communicative Condition, although, somewhat oddly, only in cases where the neurointerventions have harmful effects.

Keywords:   punishment, neurointervention, communicative theory, expressivist theory, Antony Duff

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