Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > A Role for Expression in Retributive Theories of Punishment

In "Persons and Punishment" Herbert Morris defends a retributivist theory of the justification of punishment which revives the broadly Kantian tradition of arguing for the legitimacy of legal institutions that respect the members of a given moral community as persons. Morris' theory uses the normative relationship between free and equal people as the source of constraints on just institutions of punishment. However, the benefits and burdens model he employs to make sense of how these institutions maintain and respect the normative status of persons is subject to question. I will argue that Joel Feinberg's expressive function of punishment is compatible with the broadly Kantian justification of punishment and can be used to explain the nature of and constraints on just legal and penal institutions in place of Morris' benefits and burdens model.