Godwin, Proudhon and the Anarchist Justification of Punishment

  title={Godwin, Proudhon and the Anarchist Justification of Punishment},
  author={Alan Ritter},
  journal={Political Theory},
  pages={69 - 87}
  • Alan Ritter
  • Published 1 February 1975
  • Law
  • Political Theory
rity against crime, hoping it will control misconduct througli retribution, deterrence, or reform. Anarchists are commonly regarded as an exception, on the ground that they forbid the use of punishment in their good society. They are thought to envisage life in a state of anarchy as so spontaneously peaceful that no punishment is needed to control sporadic misbehavior. One purpose of this paper is t o show the inaccuracy of this common view. Two of the most sophisticated anarchists, Williani… 
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Anarchism: A Bibliography of Articles 1900–1975
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Radical Thought and History in Britain and France: The 1789 Aftermath
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An Approach To The Problems Of Punishment
I SHALL develop, in this article, certain distinctions suggested by recent contributions to the philosophical discussion of punishment, which help to clarify the issues involved. Having separated out
By extension, the more fully 3 man accepts responsibility for his acts, the more is he worthy of respcct. Proudhon's position on this point is much like Benn's. hloral PIzilosopliy
  • 1971
hlabbott, “Punishment,
  • The Philosophy of Piirzishrizerzt ed. 11. B. Acton (London,
  • 1969
His Hobbes thus seems more committed to the rule of law than he is in fact. See "Ilobbes' Theory of Punishment
  • where Ilobbes calls sovereign poa.er arbitrary. In his otherwise definitive analysis of Hobbes on punishment
  • 1962
363; hereinafter cited as PJ. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, De la Justice d a m la Rih+ohitioii e t daizsI’Eglisc (Paris, 1930-1935)
  • 1935
349 on vengeance; PJ. 11, 322, 339. 365-66, on self-defense
  • PJ
IV, 368, where he equates vice and crime
Id:e p3zirarale de la RPvoliitiorr uii diu-rietwi&ne si?cIe
Ted Honderich, in his thorough book, P i t r i i~h t t z~~t r , rlie Supposed Jctsrificatiorrs (London, 1969). admits that he has "tended t o ignore" punishment for restraint
\Vriters besides hlabbott who appeal t o common usage include Anthony Flew
  • The Philosophy of