Thomas Aquinas and the Philosophy of Punishment Paperback
Thomas Aquinas and the Philosophy of Punishment explores how Aquinas's understandings of natural law and the common good apply to the contemporary philosophical discussion of punitive justice.
It is the first book-length study to consider this question in decades, and the only book that confronts modern views of the topic.Peter Karl Koritansky presents Thomas Aquinas's theory of punishment as an alternative to the leading schools of thought that have dominated the philosophical landscape in recent times, namely, utilitarianism and retributivism.
After carefully examining each one and tracing its roots back to Immanuel Kant and Jeremy Bentham, Koritansky concludes that neither approach to punitive justice is able to provide a philosophically compelling justification for the institution of punishment.
He explains how St. Thomas approaches the same philosophical questions from a markedly different set of assumptions rooted in his theory of natural law and his understanding of the common good.Not without its own difficulties, Aquinas's approach offers a rationale and justification of punishment that is, Koritansky argues, much more humane, realistic, and compelling than either contemporary school is able to provide.
Koritansky distinguishes his reading of the Angelic Doctor from that of other interpreters who tend to conflate Aquinas's teaching with various aspects of recent thought.
A final chapter considers the death penalty in John Paul II's Gospel of Life and debates whether current Catholic teaching about the death penalty conflicts with Aquinas's arguments in favour of the death penalty.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 240 pages
- Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press
- Publication Date: 15/01/2012
- Category: Ethics & moral philosophy
- ISBN: 9780813218830