more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 21433

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 3. Punishment / b. Retribution for crime]

Full Idea

Every deed that violates a man's right deserves punishment, the function of which is to avenge a crime on the one who committed it (not merely to make good the harm done). ...but no punishment may be inflicted out of hatred.

Gist of Idea

Violation of rights deserves punishment, which is vengeance, rather than restitution


Immanuel Kant (Metaphysics of Morals II:Doctrine of Virtue [1797], 460-1 I.II)

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'The Metaphysics of Morals', ed/tr. Gregor,Mary [CUP 1991], p.253

A Reaction

A fairly hideous idea, confirming the image of Kant as someone who coldly perfoms ruthless duties. I don't think Kant ever offers any clarity for the concepts of 'deserving' or of 'avenging'. What is the appropriate vengeance for theft?