, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 3-9
Date: 05 Aug 2012

Foreword: Symposium on Vice and the Criminal Law

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An obvious, if somewhat perverse, attraction of criminal law for those who study it is that it involves the regulation of some of the darkest and most disturbing aspects of human behavior. If one is interested in observing the most wrongful, harmful, and anti-social kinds of conduct in which people are capable of engaging, the criminal law offers as promising a place as any to start.

Moral philosophy offers another body of work we might look to for insight into the evil that men do. Although moral philosophers have traditionally been interested more in the right and the good than the wrong and the bad, there is nevertheless a significant body of scholarship focused on the latter. This is true even, or perhaps especially, in the case of virtue theory, which, owing to its late twentieth century revival, can now plausibly claim to be the third major stream of Western moral theory, along with utilitarianism and Kantianism (see Anscombe 1958; Foot 1978; MacIntyre 1985). While much of this li ...