Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 863-877

First online:

Must Punishment Be Intended to Cause Suffering?

  • Bill WringeAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Bilkent University Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


It has recently been suggested that the fact that punishment involves an intention to cause suffering undermines expressive justifications of punishment. I argue that while punishment must involve harsh treatment, harsh treatment need not involve an intention to cause suffering. Expressivists should adopt this conception of harsh treatment.


Punishment Expressive theories of punishment