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    What punishment expresses

    Reeves, Craig (2019) What punishment expresses. Social and Legal Studies 28 (1), pp. 31-57. ISSN 0964-6639.

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    In this article, I consider the question of what punishment expresses and propose a way of approaching the question that overcomes problems in both psychosocial and philosophical expressivist traditions. The problem in both traditions is, I suggest, the need for an adequate moral – neither moralizing nor reductive – psychology, and I argue that Melanie Klein’s work offers such a moral psychology. I offer a reconstruction of Klein’s central claims and begin to sketch some of its potential implications for an expressive account of punishment. I outline a Kleinian interpretation of modern punishment’s expression as of an essentially persecutory nature but also include depressive realizations that have generally proved too difficult for liberal modernity to work through successfully, and the recent ‘persecutory turn’ is a defence against such realizations. I conclude by considering the wider philosophical significance of a Kleinian account for the expressivist theory of punishment.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Depositing User: Craig Reeves
    Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2018 08:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:41


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