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Plato's views on capital punishment

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dc.contributor.author Ladikos, Anastasios
dc.date.accessioned 2012-03-06T12:45:30Z
dc.date.available 2012-03-06T12:45:30Z
dc.date.issued 2005
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/5500
dc.description.abstract Plato’s theory of punishment distinguishes scientifically administered measures, which may or may not take the form of actual punishment designed to cure a criminal of his offence which is a disease of the soul, not something which is an inseparable part of the concrete criminal act. He is aversive to retributive punishment which is designed merely to make the criminal suffer as a kind of primitive compensation for his crime. Plato does not commit himself to the view that all forms of punishment benefits the criminal as he reasons that only just punishment has this effect. Capital punishment in Plato’s penology is reserved for the incurable and the bad men themselves would seem better candidates for this penalty than those who in spite of propensities to vice yet succeed in avoiding the greatest judgement. The mere infliction of suffering (timoria) makes people worse than they already were; they will not be cured or deterred as they will go from bad to worse, ultimately become incorrigible and bound to be executed as an example to others. Curing or rehabilitating the criminal in practice will mean the reshaping of his character to a pattern approved by the authorities. The death penalty is imposed for the worst offenders but in Plato’s opinion it is not considered to be an extreme penalty. This paradox can only be understood when pondered through Platonic assumptions about morality, happiness and existence after death. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Capital punishment en
dc.title Plato's views on capital punishment en
dc.type Article en


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