This book is about moral and legal responsibility for provoked retaliation. It focuses on the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the legal doctrine of provocation. In English law, that doctrine has the effect of reducing criminal liability for a killing to manslaughter for what would otherwise be murder. The book aims to form historical insights and philosophical analysis into what one might call the story of the doctrine of provocation. It examines how provocation emerged as a partial defence to murder, how the legal understanding of the nature of action in anger appeared radically to change during the doctrine’s history, and how the doctrine’s mitigating effect has been explained and justified.
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