A defense of moral sentiment retributivism
Backen, George Jose
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Moral sentiment retributivism justifies punishment given that wrongdoers morally deserve to be punished. And our knowledge that wrongdoers morally deserve punishment is based in our psychological responses to serious wrongdoing, our indignation toward and desire to harm the wrongdoer. Given meta-ethical and conceptual difficulties associated with deriving moral judgments from emotional reactions, contemporary punishment theory pays scant attention to moral sentiment retributivism. But this theoretical disfavor creates disunity between our practices and the justifications for those practices, for we are retributive creatures whose confidence in retributive judgments is based in our emotional responses to wrongdoing. To overcome this disunity, a cognitive-pluralist-intuitionist defense of moral sentiment retributivism is developed.