An Eye for an Eye: The Morality of Revenge

What is it

We are often taught that vengeance is a reprehensible or unworthy motivation and that, as a result, pursuing revenge should not be the method of choice when meting out punishment for crimes. Incarceration and other penalties, according to this view, can only be justified in as much as they protect society, rehabilitate criminals, or deter further crime. But are these approaches to punishment really more just than the retributive or vengeance model? Don’t the victims of crime deserve some kind of payback for their suffering? Are justice and revenge in conflict with one another, or do they actually go hand in hand? John and Ken trade favors with Thane Rosenbaum from the Fordham Law School, author of Payback: The Case For Revenge.

Get Philosophy Talk


Sunday at 11am (pacific) on KALW 91.7 FM Local Public Radio, San Francisco


Individual downloads via CDBaby and iTunes. Multipacks and The Complete Philosophy Talk via iAamplify


Upcoming Shows

25 March 2018

The Culture Industry

What's your favorite movie? Did you watch that season finale last night? No spoilers! Popular cultures pervades modern life. But what if pop culture...

01 April 2018

Edward Snowden and the Ethics of...

You might think we each have a moral duty to expose any serious misconduct, dishonesty, or illegal activity we discover in an organization,...

08 April 2018

Monstrous Technologies?

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein raises powerful questions about the responsibilities of scientists to consider the impact of their inventions on the...