Antecedents of the Theory of Crime and Punishment in the Elements of the Philosophy of Right
Dossier | Legal, Economic, and Political in Hegel's Philosophy of Right
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teoria do crime; Hegel; punição criminal teoría del crimen; Hegel; castigo penal theory of crime; Hegel; punishment

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Miranda Mora, A. M. (2021). Antecedents of the Theory of Crime and Punishment in the Elements of the Philosophy of Right. Resistances. Journal of the Philosophy of History, 2(4), e21068.


This article reconstructs some of the antecedents of Hegel’s theory of crime and punishment in the philosophy of law in the light of the question of the role of coercion in his justification of criminal punishment and his notion of law. It is shown how the normative discussion of punishment and crime implies in his philosophy the question of the legitimacy of criminal law to enforce the law by means of punishment. Likewise, Hegel’s analysis is placed as part of the Enlightenment reform of punishment, and it is proposed to understand his theory as a mixed theory, in contrast with theories that affirm a primarily retributivist reading. The aim of this article is to analyze the theoretical context and historical background of his theory of crime and punishment crystallized in the Berlin Foundations of the Philosophy of Right.  To conclude, it is argued that Hegel’s theory is a mixed theory, i.e., that it combines its retributive character with additional social functions, such as deterrence and rehabilitation, and the thesis that Hegel’s most substantive theory of punishment is contained in Abstract Law is rejected. It is also shown that the full justification of the legitimation of punishment (Strafe) is only achieved in the dimension of the Administration of Justice in the Civil Society section.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Ana María Miranda Mora


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