Ted Honderich's Punishment is the best-known book on the justifications put forward for state punishment.
This enlarged and developed edition brings his writing to a new audience. With new chapters on determinism and responsibility, plus a new conclusion, the book also remains true to its original realism about almost all talk of retribution and proportionality. Honderich investigates all the commonsensical notions of why and when punishment is morally necessary, engaging with the language of public debate by politicians and other public figures. Honderich then puts forward his own argument that punishment is legitimate when it is in accord with the principle of humanity.
Written in a clear, sharp style and seasoned with a dry wit, this is the most important work on the reasoning behind our penal systems. It is a pleasure to read for philosophers and non-philosophers alike.
Ted Honderich is Grote is Professor Emeritus at University College London and author of numerous books on philosophy including After the Terror (EUP, 2002), How Free Are You? (OUP, 2001), editor of The Philosophers (OUP, 2001) and Conservatism (Pluto, 2005).
Introduction 1 Problem 2 Backward-Looking Theories 3 Grievance-Satisfaction 4 Utilitarian Prevention Theory, Etc. 5. Reform, Rehabilitation, Treatment 6. Determinism 7 Compromise Theories of Punishment 8 Non-Problem, Other Conclusions Acknowledgements Notes Index