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‘It Is Nowadays Impossible to Say Definitely the Precise Reason for Punishment’ (Nietzsche, 1887). Critically Review This Statement with Reference to Philosophical Justifications for Punishment Using Contemporary Examples.

  • Date Submitted: 10/10/2011 05:28 AM
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‘It is nowadays impossible to say definitely the precise reason for punishment’ (Nietzsche, 1887). Critically review this statement with reference to philosophical justifications for punishment using contemporary examples.

Punishment and Society
Friedrich Nietzsche (1887), quoted in his essay “The Geneology of Morals, that ‘Today it is impossible to say clearly why we really have punishment, all idea’s in which an entire process is semiotically summarised elude definition – only something that has no history is capable of being defined’ (Nietzsche,1887,s13).
For Nietzsche, there were two fundamental parts to punishment and these are Relative Duration and Fluidity. As Nietzsche looked upon it, relative duration was explained as, the action, the way it’s carried out, and a certain strict sequence of procedures. He saw that fluidity could be explained as, the meaning, the purpose, the expectation linked to the implementation of such procedures. In other words Nietzsche was suggesting that punishment was used for a variety of reasons. Punishment not only had various reasons, it also had various meanings. Therefore Nietzsche puts forward the argument that it is difficult to say exactly the reason for punishment. (Nietzsche, 1887) He is also quoted as saying ‘People have made a purpose of punishment’ (Nietzsche, 1887 s13,).
Other philosophers have put forward their ideas too. The Consequentialist views favoured by Cesare Beccaria (1738- 1794), believe the consequences of the response to crime matter and primacy is given to achieving the desired objective which is the general happiness of the society, crime prevention and so on ( Vold, 2002:20)
The Utilitarianism is a basic form of consequentialism, and is favoured by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), and he viewed the justifications to punish were, so that society as a whole benefits, the thought here is that although the punishment serves to make the offender unhappy, it does make society as a whole happy that there...

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