Wrongs, Crimes, and Criminalization
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I will focus on Tadros’s general views about criminalization and how he contends philosophers should not think about it. Misguided approaches, according to Tadros, include attempts to identify principles that constrain the scope of the criminal law, as well as efforts to establish that given considerations constitute reasons for or against the use of the penal sanction. In what follows, I begin with a few general remarks about the connections between Tadros’s treatment of criminal justice and the real world. Next, I try to salvage the viability of the two approaches to criminalization he rejects. Finally, I turn a skeptical eye to what I take to be the most radical thesis in Wrongs and Crimes: the state should occasionally criminalize conduct that is not wrongful.