Paolo Bodini

The Bow of the Hangman. Kantian Retributivism Starting from the Moral Law

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Kant, Retributivism, Punishment, Law of Retaliation, Revenge.

The present contribution aims to clarify some key aspects of Kantian retributivism. The essay is divided into four paragraphs. First, it presents the Kantian conception of punishment as deeply tied to his ethical and meta-ethical reflection, referring in particular to the concepts of freedom, autonomy and dignity. Secondly, an attempt will be made to connote retributivism and the law of retaliation as part of a normative paradigm coherent with the Kantian practical system, a principle – third step – capable of regulating “hard casesµ through the mediation between particularities of the context and generality of the law made by the judge. Finally, in the light of the analyses proposed, it will highlight the distance of Kantian thought from an understanding of punishment as revenge.

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