, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 1367–1374

On Smilansky’s Defense of Prepunishment: A Response to Robinson


DOI: 10.1007/s11406-016-9775-y

Cite this article as:
Lam, V. Philosophia (2016) 44: 1367. doi:10.1007/s11406-016-9775-y


In a 2010 paper published in this journal, Robinson responded to Smilansky’s argument that compatibilists do not have a principled reason to reject prepunishment. Smilansky argues that, due to the nature of a compatibilist universe, offenders will actually carry out their intended offences and are rightfully held responsible for them. As a result, there is no moral demand to wait for the offence to occur before punishing the offender. Smilansky has responded to a number of objections, but has not addressed Robinson’s arguments. This paper will defend Smilansky’s position against Robinson’s claims and conclude that Smilansky’s position remains undefeated.


Punishment Prepunishment Compatibilism Determinism Responsibility 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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