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Moral Theory and Capital Punishment By Professor Tom Sorell

Moral Theory and Capital Punishment
by Professor Tom Sorell

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Discussing capital punishment and the use of philosophical theories of right and wrong, the book focuses on utilitarian and Kantian normative theories, applying them to the morality of capital punishment.
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Moral Theory and Capital Punishment Summary

Moral Theory and Capital Punishment by Professor Tom Sorell

This book concerns not only capital punishment but also the use of philosophical theories of right and wrong. The author argues that such theories are not to be regarded as giving expert knowledge of right and wrong, still less expert guidance in the resolution of practical dilemmas. What they can do however is to improve moral rhetoric, raise the standard of persuasive speech for and against capital punishment, abortion, and euthanasia to name a few. By introducing more rigour into the justification and criticism of these practices, he then applies philosophical criticism to some moral rhetoric in a Parliamentary debate on capital punishment. He moves on to show how normative ethical theories can provide some of the required justification. Two influential normative ethical theories - utilitarian and Kantian - are described and applied to the morality of capital punishment. In the end a Kantian argument in favour of the death penalty for a small range of crimes is accepted. Arguments on the other side, both utilitarian and non-utilitarian including several taken from US Supreme Court opinions in the 1970s are given consideration. Though the book argues that capital punishment can be morally justified, it concedes that workable capital punishment legislation may be very difficult to frame.

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Moral Theory and Capital Punishment Reviews

"Mr Sorell writes in a brisk and lively style: his readers will be grateful. At the same time he has produced a philosophically sophisticated exercise in moral rhetoric. He has been patient and lucid in his effort to connect moral themes with punitive policy, something few philosophers have tried and none achieved with better effect. American readers will learn from his dissection of parliamentary debate on the dealth penalty, while others will profit from his critique of the Supreme Court's major death penalty ruling." "Hugo Adam Bedau, Tufts University"

About Professor Tom Sorell

Tom Sorell is Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University.

Table of Contents

Selected problems - how philosophy can help; a selected controversy; capital punishment in philosophical context; utilitarian arguments for and against capital punishment; just desert.

Additional information

Moral Theory and Capital Punishment by Professor Tom Sorell
Professor Tom Sorell
Used - Very Good
John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.