The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, I defend and expand the Fortificationist Theory of Punishment (FTP). Second, I argue that this theory implies that non-consensual neurointerventions – interventions that act directly on one’s brain – are permissible. According to the FTP, punishment is justified as a way of ensuring that citizens who infringe their duty to demonstrate the reliability of their moral powers will thereafter be able to comply with it. I claim that the FTP ought to be expanded to include citizens’ interest in developing their moral powers. Thus, states must ensure that their citizens develop their moral reliability, not only because they must enforce their citizens’ compliance with certain duties, but also because states have the duty to maintain the conditions for stability and satisfy their citizens’ interest in developing their moral powers. According to this account of the FTP, if neurointerventions are the only or best way of ensuring that offenders can discharge their fortificational duties, states have strong reasons to provide these interventions.
For helpful discussion of an earlier draft of this paper, I am grateful to the audiences at the VIII Braga Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy, and the Bucharest – Oxford Workshop in Applied Ethics, as well as to two anonymous reviewers for very helpful comments. I would also like to thank Jeffrey Howard for providing the theory with which my paper engages, as well as David Birks, Max Kiener and Tom Parr for helpful discussions. My greatest debt is to Tom Douglas and Tom Sinclair, who provided me with lengthy and insightful comments. Finally, I should note that this paper would not exist without the generous support of the Wellcome Trust (grant number 100705/Z/12/Z), the Society for Applied Philosophy, and the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust.
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Theofilopoulou, A. Punishment as Moral Fortification and Non-Consensual Neurointerventions. Law and Philos 38, 149–167 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10982-018-09341-3