Brave New World, a kind of refutation of Looking Backward. The exergue .. to education to exchanges about hobbies and the pursuit of dating partners. today. Indeed, on technology issues contemporary political thinkers such as Rawls and. In , systems will encounter backward-looking calculation, date-routine, input Even if you assume that these issues will be addressed domestically, foreign. We can now literally "look backwards" at the Twentieth Century and as we do so, the contrast . to education to exchanges about hobbies and the pursuit of dating partners. today. Indeed, on technology issues contemporary political thinker.
The doctrine has not been without its critics, both in theory and in practice Zimring But to date, no alternative approach shows any signs of supplementing the just deserts sentencing philosophy—no matter how preposterous in practice the claim that a given punitive sentence is justly deserved may be in most cases.
There has been a third development concurrent with the two outlined above, far less influential in the formation of actual penalty policy even if it is of equal theoretical importance Harding We refer to the reconceptualization of the practice of punishment arising from the work of Michel Foucault in the mids. Foucault invited us to view the practice of punishment under law as subject to general forces in society that reflect the dominant forms of social and political power—the power to threaten, coerce, suppress, destroy, transform—that prevail in any given epoch.
And he also cultivated a deep suspicion toward the claims that contemporary society had significantly humanized the forms of punishment by abandoning the savage corporal brutality that prevailed in the bad old days, in favor of the hidden concrete-and-steel carceral system of the modern era Foucault Professed goals of punishment, norms constraining the use of power in the pursuit of these goals, the aspiration for justice in punishment—all these, if Foucault is right, turn out to mask other not necessarily conscious intentions among reformers that belie the ostensible rationality not to say rationalization of their aims since the Enlightenment.
Thus, the movement against capital punishment in the late eighteenth century is not to be explained or, presumably, justified by the influence of conscious, rational utilitarian calculations of the sort that Beccaria and Bentham argued had persuaded them to oppose the death penalty BedauMaestro First, he ignored the analytical distinctions that philosophers in the Anglo-American tradition had made familiar to be discussed below.
None plays any visible role in his account of the theory or practice of punishment. Some interpreters might not only acknowledge this, they would go further and argue that Foucault offers no philosophical views about punishment at all—because conceptual and normative analysis and the search for principles on which to rest policy are at best obscurely and indirectly pursued in his writings. Instead, so this interpretation declares, he is just a social commentator or some other form of critical humanist Garland But this interpretation fails to do him justice.
Not only do they issue in claims that are not obviously testable empirical hypotheses, they involve large-scale reflections on and reinterpretations of human nature, public institutions, and the point of our punitive practices. Second, Foucault implicitly challenges the very idea of any form of justification of the practice of punishment. He is, in his way, a paradigmatic thinker whose views about punishment can be called anti-foundationalist.
What emerges from his account is the view that what passes for the justification of punishment as with any other social practice is inextricably tied up with assumptions, beliefs—in short, with ideology—that have no independent rational foundation.
The very idea that penal institutions can be justified is suspect, self-delusive. Foucault more than any other recent thinker who has reflected on the institutions of punishment in western society, has brought historicist, anti-analytic, and anti-foundationalist convictions together, thus sowing deep uncertainty over how and even whether to address the task of justifying punishment. The cumulative effect of these forces, political and intellectual, has been to undermine confidence in the classic Enlightenment or liberal view of punishment found, for example, in Hobbes, Locke, Bentham, and Mill.
Perhaps this is an exaggeration; one might argue that since it is unclear just what a liberal view of punishment really is, successfully undermining it is equally uncertain. What is needed is a reassertion, reformulation, and redeployment of recognizably liberal ideas in the theory of punishment see the discussion below. Theory of Punishment The prevailing features in the modern theory of punishment were developed by analytic philosophers half a century ago. The theory in the Anglo-American philosophical world was and still is governed by a small handful of basic conceptual distinctions, self-consciously deployed by virtually all theorists no matter what substantive views they also hold about punishment.
The terminus a quo of these ideas are the influential writings of H. Though both Hart and Rawls pass muster as centrist liberals, they believed these analytic distinctions to be ideologically neutral.
Defining the concept of punishment must be kept distinct from justifying punishment. A definition of punishment is, or ought to be, value-neutral, at least to the extent of not incorporating any norms or principles that surreptitiously tend to justify whatever falls under the definition itself. To put this another way, punishment is not supposed to be justified, or even partly justified, by packing its definition in a manner that virtually guarantees that whatever counts as punishment is automatically justified.
Conversely, its definition ought not to preclude its justification. Justifying the practice or institution of punishment must be kept distinct from justifying any given act of punishment.
For one thing, it is possible to have a practice of punishment—an authorized and legitimate threat system—ready and waiting without having any occasion to inflict its threatened punishment on anyone because, for example, there are no crimes or no convicted and sentenced criminals.
For another, allowance must be made for the possibility that the practice of punishment might be justified even though a given act of punishment—an application of the practice—is not. Justification of any act of punishment is to be done by reference to the norms rules, standards, principles defining the institutional practice—such as the classic norms of Roman law, nullum crimen sine lege and nulla poena sine lege no crime without law, no punishment without law.
Justification of the practice itself, however, necessarily has reference to very different considerations—social purposes, values, or goals of the community in which the practice is rooted. The values and considerations appropriate to justifying acts are often assimilated to those that define judicial responsibility, whereas the values that bear on justifying the punitive institution are akin to those that govern statutory enactments by a legislature.
The practice of punishment must be justified by reference either to forward-looking or to backward-looking considerations.
If the former prevail, then the theory is likely to be consequentialist and probably some version of utilitarianism, according to which the point of the practice of punishment is to increase overall net social welfare by reducing ideally, preventing crime. If the latter prevail, the theory is deontological; on this approach, punishment is seen either as a good in itself or as a practice required by justice, thus making a direct claim on our allegiance.
A deontological justification of punishment is likely to be a retributive justification. Or, as a third alternative, the justification of the practice may be found in some hybrid combination of these two independent alternatives.
Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik
Attempts to avoid this duality in favor of a completely different approach have yet to meet with much success GoldmanHoekemaHamptonTenvon HirschTadros Acknowledgment of these distinctions seems to be essential to anything that might be regarded as a tolerably adequate theory of punishment.
Two substantive conclusions have been reached by most philosophers based in part on these considerations.
First, although it is possible to criticize the legitimacy or appropriateness of various individual punitive acts—many are no doubt excessive, brutal, and undeserved—the practice of punishment itself is clearly justified, and in particular justified by the norms of a liberal constitutional democracy. Second, this justification requires some accommodation to consequentialist as well as to deontological considerations.
A strait-laced purely retributive theory of punishment is as unsatisfactory as a purely consequentialist theory with its counter-intuitive conclusions especially as regards punishing the innocent. The practice of punishment, to put the point another way, rests on a plurality of values, not on some one value to the exclusion of all others. So much by way of review of the recent past as a stage setting for what follows—a sketch of what we take to be the best general approach to the problem of defining and justifying punishment.
Justifications of Punishment As a first step we need a definition of punishment in light of the considerations mentioned above. Can a definition be proposed that meets the test of neutrality that is, does not prejudge any policy question? Punishment under law punishment of children in the home, of students in schools, etc. The classical formulation, conspicuous in Hobbes, for example, defines punishment by reference to imposing pain rather than to deprivations.
This definition, although imperfect because of its brevity, does allow us to bring out several essential points.
Punishment (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
First, punishment is an authorized act, not an incidental or accidental harm. It is an act of the political authority having jurisdiction in the community where the harmful wrong occurred. Second, punishment is constituted by imposing some burden or by some form of deprivation or by withholding some benefit.
Deprivation has no covert or subjective reference; punishment is an objectively judged loss or burden imposed on a convicted offender. Third, punishment is a human institution, not a natural event outside human purposes, intentions, and acts. Its practice requires persons to be cast in various socially defined roles according to public rules. Harms of various sorts may befall a wrong-doer, but they do not count as punishment except in an extended sense unless they are inflicted by personal agency.
Fourth, punishment is imposed on persons who are believed to have acted wrongly the basis and adequacy of such belief in any given case may be open to dispute. Actually being guilty is not. For this reason it is possible to punish the innocent and undeserving without being unjust. Fifth, no single explicit purpose or aim is built by definition into the practice of punishment.
The practice, as Nietzsche was the first to notice, is consistent with several functions or purposes it is not consistent with having no purposes or functions whatever. Sixth, not all socially authorized deprivations count as punishments; the only deprivations inflicted on a person that count are those imposed in consequence of a finding of criminal guilt rather than guilt only of a tort or a contract violation, or being subject to a licensing charge or to a tax.
What marks out nonpunitive deprivations from the punitive ones is that they do not express social condemnation FeinbergBedau This expression is internal, not external, to the practice of punishment.
Finally, although the practice of punishment under law may be the very perfection of punishment in human experience, most of us learn about punishment well before any encounters with the law. It is helpful in assessing various candidate justifications of punishment to keep in mind the reasons why punishment needs to be justified. Punishment—especially punishment under law, by officers of the government—is as noted above a human institution, not a natural fact.
- The triumph of backward-looking economics
It is deliberately and intentionally organized and practiced. Yet it is not a basic social institution that every conceivable society must have. It is a testimony to human frailty, not to the conditions necessary to implement human social cooperation.
It also has no more than an historical or biological affinity with retaliatory harm or other aggressive acts to be found among nonhuman animals or despite thinkers from Bishop Joseph Butler to Sir Peter Strawson to the contrary with the natural resentment that unprovoked aggression characteristically elicits.
The practice or institution of punishment is not necessary, conceptually or empirically, to human society. It is conceivable even if impracticable that society should not have the practice of punishment, and it is possible—given the pains of punishment—that we might even rationally decide to do without it.
Not surprisingly, some radical social thinkers from time to time and even today have advocated its abolition SkinnerBedauA. Punishment under law, and especially in a liberal constitutional democracy, incurs considerable costs for persons involved in carrying it out, whatever the benefits may be.
Some rationale must be provided by any society that deliberately chooses to continue to incur these costs. The matter is aggravated to the extent that society prefers to incur these costs rather than those of alternative social interventions with personal liberty that might result in preventing crime in the first place and healing the wounds of its victims Currie By way of expansion on some of the considerations alluded to above, we must not forget or obscure the importance of the fact that punishment by its very nature involves some persons those who carry out punitive acts having dominant coercive power over others those being punished.
To try to punish another without first establishing control over the would-be punishee is doomed to failure. But the power to punish—as distinct from merely inflicting harm on others—cannot be adventitious; it must be authoritative and institutionalized under the prevailing political regime.
Finally, because the infliction of punishment is normally intended to cause, and usually does cause, some form of deprivation for the person being punished, the infliction of punishment provides unparalleled opportunity for abuse of power.
To distinguish such abuses both from the legitimate deprivations that are essential to punishment and from the excesses of punitive sentences that embody cruel and inhumane punishments, one must rely on the way the former are connected to and the latter disconnected from whatever constitutes the sentence as such and whatever justifies it Bedau The general form of any possible justification of punishment involves several steps.
They start with realizing that punishing people is not intelligibly done entirely or solely for its own sake, as are, say, playing cards or music, writing poetry or philosophy, or other acts of intrinsic worth to their participants. Nietzsche and Foucault are among those who would dispute this claim, and they may have history on their side. They think that human nature is such that we do get intrinsic even if disguised satisfactions out of inflicting authorized harm on others, as punishment necessarily does.
Others will regard this satisfaction, such as it is, as a perversity of human nature, and will say that we retain the practice of punishment because it enables us to achieve certain goals or results. Although punishment can be defined without reference to any purposes, it cannot be justified without such reference.
Accordingly, to justify punishment we must specify, first, what our goals are in establishing or perpetuating the practice itself. Second, we must show that when we punish we actually achieve these goals. Third, we must show that we cannot achieve these goals unless we punish and punish in certain ways and not in others and that we cannot achieve them with comparable or superior efficiency and fairness by nonpunitive interventions.
Fourth, we must show that striving to achieve these goals by way of the imposition of deprivations is itself justified. Justification is thus closed over these four steps; roughly, to justify a practice of punishment—if not everywhere then at least in a liberal constitutional democracy—it is necessary and sufficient to carry out these four tasks. Unsurprisingly, no matter what actual society we find ourselves in, we can contest each of these four steps, especially the last.
Just as there is no theoretical limit to the demands that can be made in the name of any or all of these tasks, there is also no bedrock on which to stand as one undertakes either a critique of existing systems of punishment or the design of an ideal system. Metaphor apart, the inescapable forensic quality of justification defeats all forms of what might be called linear—whether top-down or bottom-up—foundationalism.
Consequentialist or Deontological Justification For several decades philosophers have over- simplified the picture of possible forms of normative justification in ethics, policy formation, and law into two alternatives: They have also undertaken to apply this distinction to the justification of punishment. By a purely consequentialist theory, we mean a theory that imposes no constraints on what counts as the fourth step in justification see above.
The pure consequentialist views punishment as justified to the extent that its practice achieves or is reasonably believed to achieve whatever end-state the theorist specifies such as the public interest, the general welfare, the common good.
Most philosophers would reject this view in favor of introducing various constraints, whether or not they can in turn be justified by their consequences. Thus, a most important part of the theory of punishment is the careful articulation of the norms that provide these constraints on the practice and their rationale.
As for individual acts of punishment—typically, the sentence a court metes out to a convicted offender and the infliction of that sentence on the offender—their justification falls within the justification of the practice itself. In any case they could not be reasonably be justified purely on consequentialist grounds as an act-utilitarian might wish to do. Sentencers lack sufficient information about all the actual or probable effects of inflicting one rather than another punishment on a given offender at a given time.
They lack as well the opportunity and time to secure such information and to use it to inform their sentences. As a result sentencers must content themselves with a largely procedural justification of most of the punishments they impose.
Insofar as the system of punishment on which they rely is essentially just, none of the sentencing acts that the institution warrants are unjust they may, of course, be unwise.
The best justification of punishment is also not purely retributivist. It is arguable, however, whether the guilty always do deserve to be punished; it is also arguable whether, even when they do they ought always to get what they deserve; and it is further arguable whether when they ought to be punished as they deserve, the punisher always knows what it is they deserve except in the purely procedural sense alluded to above; see also below Bedau We cannot meet these challenges to the deontological retributivist by insisting that punishment is nothing more than a necessary conceptual consequence of living under the rule of law Fingarette Even apart from the problems above, retributivists have yet to construct a nonarbitrary way of deciding what sentence the guilty offender deserves as punishment.
Retributivists, ancient and modern, have always been lured by one or another form of lex talionis Davisdespite objections dating from post-biblical times to the present Walker Nor does it suffice to abandon like-for-like retaliation in punishment in favor of restating the basic retributive principle in nontalionic form: Severity in punishment must be proportional to the gravity of the offense.
Few will argue against this principle, but it still leaves us with a spectrum of alternatives among which to choose, marked at one end by a positivistic legalism offenders deserve whatever the penal code provides as their punishment and at the other end by an inchoate moralism offenders deserve whatever accords with their moral culpability and the harm they have caused.
All retributive attempts to specify the penalty schedule linking crimes to their punishments fail because the proportionality principle underdetermines the schedule. There is no nonarbitrary way to locate either the end points of maximum and minimum severity defining the penalty schedule or the intervals between adjacent punishments Pincoffs And retribution cannot supply the further information needed.
As a result, every penalty schedule purporting to incorporate retributive principles exclusively fails to the extent that any given punishment cannot be justified by those principles alone. But the basic insights of retributivism cannot be merely brushed aside. There is a role for desert in a liberal theory of punishment, but its scope needs careful restriction. The retributivist relies on the assumption that the criminal laws whose violation makes one eligible for punishment protect genuine individual rights.
The black line shows a simulation based on a backward looking model. The blue line shows actual historical data. The Keynesian IS-LM model failed to predict how quickly inflation would take off in theas the expectations-adjusted Phillips curve shifted up.
It then failed to predict just how quickly inflation would be beaten in the s. It predicted agonizing decades of unemployment. Instead, expectations adjusted down again, the inflation battle ended quickly. John Cochrane writes that the two curves were parallel in 81 to 83, with reality moving much faster. But in it all falls apart. And you can see the crucial Keynesian prediction error: Stephen Williamson writes that if we look only at the recession, which is defined by a peak in Q3 and a trough in Q4, the drop in the quarterly PCE deflator was about 3.
What actually occurred was a drop in real GDP during the recession of about 2. LM writes that reality worked out a middle way between the Tobin model and the rational expectations model.
The basic RBC model for instance would predict no effect whatsoever on employment following purely monetary policy shocks. Of course, adding a fiscal policy response would provide a different result.
We want something that captures a non-neutrality of money, so that we can see if this somehow matches the data.