1st Edition

The Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law

By David Dolinko Copyright 2014
    590 Pages
    by Routledge

    The last fifty years have seen a notable expansion of philosophical scrutiny of the fundamental concepts and structures of Anglo-American criminal law and this volume offers a selection from journal articles and book chapters of significant and influential work in this field. Taken together, these essays illustrate how contemporary philosophical reflection on criminal law has broadened its focus beyond the longstanding and still active debate over the moral legitimacy of punishment. In addition to punishment, the subjects also covered in this collection range from excuse and justification defenses and the conundrums of attempt liability to the bases of culpability and criminal responsibility and the appropriate limits of the criminal law. The introduction clarifies the contexts in which these subjects are discussed, and the volume includes an extensive bibliography.

    Contents: Introduction. Part I The Structure and Limits of Criminal Law: The aims of the criminal law, Henry M. Hart Jr; Criminal attempt and the theory of the law of crimes, Lawrence C. Becker; Criminalization and sharing wrongs, S.E. Marshall and R.A. Duff. Part II Criminal Responsibility: Character, purpose, and criminal responsibility, Michael D. Bayles; Choice, character, and excuse, Michael S. Moore; Choice, character and criminal liability, R.A. Duff. Part III Culpability: Insufficient concern: a unified conception of criminal culpability, Larry Alexander; Motive and criminal liability, Douglas N. Husak. Part IV Defences, Justifications and Excuses: A theory of justification: societal harm as a prerequisite for criminal liability, Paul H. Robinson; The gist of excuses, John Gardner; The perplexing borders of justification and excuse, Kent Greenawalt; Self-defense, Judith Jarvis Thomson; The basis of moral liability to defensive killing, Jeff McMahan. Part V Attempts: Impossibility in criminal attempts - legality and the legal process, Arnold N. Enker; The punishment that leaves something to chance, David Lewis. Part VI The Justification of Punishment: The expressive function of punishment, Joel Feinberg; The retributive idea, Jean Hampton; Expression, penance and reform and The ideal and the actual, R.A. Duff; Punishment and justification, Mitchell N. Berman. Name index.


    David Dolinko is Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, USA. He writes extensively on criminal law and punishment and is one of the editors of the 'Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Criminal Law'.