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

Radio

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

Podcast

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

 

Upcoming Shows

27 May 2018

The Ethics of Drone Warfare

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, aka ‘drone,’ is increasingly the weapon of choice in America's military operations. Many laud its ability to maintain...

03 June 2018

Repugnant Markets: Should Everything Be...

We might ban buying or selling horse meat in the US not for the protection of horses, but because we find it morally repugnant. Yet this moral...

10 June 2018

The Value of Care: Feminism and Ethics

We sometimes think of the domains of ethics and morality as divorced from feeling and emotion. You keep your promises because it maximizes good. But...