Moral Theory and Capital Punishment

Overview

Tom Sorell's book concerns not simply capital punishment but the use of philosophical theories of right and wrong. He argues that such theories are not to be regarded as giving expert knowledge of value, still less a definite technique for resolving practical dilemmas. Instead, they improve moral rhetoric and raise the standard of persuasive speech for and against capital punishment, abortion and euthanasia by introducing higher standards of justification for claims about these ...

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Overview

Tom Sorell's book concerns not simply capital punishment but the use of philosophical theories of right and wrong. He argues that such theories are not to be regarded as giving expert knowledge of value, still less a definite technique for resolving practical dilemmas. Instead, they improve moral rhetoric and raise the standard of persuasive speech for and against capital punishment, abortion and euthanasia by introducing higher standards of justification for claims about these practices.

Moral Theory and Capital Punishment illustrated how philosophical theory can be applied to questions of wide public concern. It introduces the leading moral theories proposed by philosophers and derives from them a variety of arguments for and against the death penalty. The conclusion reached is that capital punishment is morally justifiable in certain cases but extremely difficult to introduce safely into general legislation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Tom Sorell is Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University.

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