Can/Should We Purge Evil Through Capital Punishment?
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Matthew Kramer’s The Ethics of Capital Punishment: A Philosophical Investigation of Evil and its Consequences explores the morality of capital punishment and develops his own “purgative rationale” in support of the practice. I present my objections to Kramer’s purgative rationale and trace our disagreement to differences over the nature of evil, the autonomy of human character formation, and the concept of defilement.
I thank Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Jordan Steiker for helpful conversation and comments.
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