Punishment

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What to expect

Punishment involves authority and the exercise of power by one or more humans over another, usually to preserve order and security. But any understanding of punishment depends heavily on our interpretation of both authority and responsibility. What are the moral considerations involved in depriving others of their liberty or lives? Is the purpose of incarceration to rehabilitate, to deter, or simply to punish? And by what philosophy do we invest the state with such power?

The Morality in Our Age series examines the historical and philosophical background of today’s most pressing moral challenges. Here the realities of money, sex, power, and violence meet the ideals of responsibility, integrity, and moral well-being. Though a final “answer” is notoriously elusive in moral discussion, you’ll develop a much better insight into the forces and principles at play on today’s most serious moral issues, problems, and dilemmas.

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