The role of punishment in the works of Adam Smith

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Abstract

The reformation of criminal justice is one of the great themes in Enlightenmentculture and concerned its main exponents from Montesquieu to Beccaria,Filangieri, Bentham. One of the traits of greater modernity in the theoriesworked out by juridical Enlightenment is the resort to the utilitarianinspiredeconomic analysis. Adam Smith doesn't back out of this scientificand civil commitment, but his doctrine appears significantly different thoughcontemporary to juridical Enlightenment, and is also based on economic argumentations.In this work we will look through the main writings whichcontain the Smithian thought in search of those parts dealing with thetheme of punishment and its social function, pointing out the differenceswith what was being divulged by other authors of the Enlightenment. We willtry to explain this distance by going back to the different epistemological visionbetween Scottish doctrine of natural law and European utilitarianism,offering some hints for a reconsideration of the role Smith has in the historyof economic thought.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)303-330
Numero di pagine0
RivistaStoria e Politica
Volume1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2009

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