Virtue, Vice, and Criminal Liability

  • Antony Duff


This is an edited version of a longer paper, from which I have excised the first three sections. Section 1 noted the recurrent and familiar yearning among criminal law theorists for a grand, unitary theory of criminal liability—a yearning both admirable and dangerous—and the way in which it has recently taken an Aristotelian turn.1


Supra Note Reasonable Person Practical Wisdom Intentional Object Criminal Liability 
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  1. 2.
    See for example H. L. A. Hart, Punishment and Responsibility (1968);Google Scholar
  2. A. J. Ashworth, ‘Belief, Intent and Criminal Liability’ in Oxford Essays in Jurisprudence (J. Eekelaar and J. Bell eds, 3rd Series, 1987); M. S. Moore, ‘Choice, Character, and Excuse’, 7 Soc. Phil. Pol. 29 (1990).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See for example M. D. Bayles, ‘Character, Purpose, and Criminal Responsibility’, 1 Law & Phil. 5 (1982); G. Vuoso, Background, Responsibility, and Excuse, 96 Yale L. J. 1661 (1987); N. Lacey, State Punishment, chapter 3 (1988). For discussion see J. Horder, ‘Criminal Culpability: The Possibility of a General Theory’, 12 Law & Phil. 193 (1993); R. A. Duff, ‘Choice, Character and Criminal Liability’, 12 Law & Phil. 345 (1993).Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    See for example R. Solomon, The Passions (1993);Google Scholar
  5. M. Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 12.
    See for example Kahan and Nussbaum, supra note 1; J. Horder, Provocation and Responsibility (1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 18.
    J. F. Stephen, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (1873), p. 152.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    For two versions of this thought, one roughly Platonic and one roughly Aristotelian, see I. Murdoch, The Sovereignty of Good (1970);Google Scholar
  9. L. Blum, Friendship, Altruism, and Morality (1980).Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    For two recent useful contributions on either side of this ongoing debate, see J. Gardner, ‘Justifications and Reasons’ in Harm and Culpability (A. P. Simester and A. T. H. Smith eds, 1996);Google Scholar
  11. P. Robinson, Structure and Function in Criminal Law (1997), pp. 95–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 26.
    This is another issue that I cannot pursue here: compare Robinson, supra note 21, at 129–137, with G. Fletcher, Rethinking Criminal Law (1978), pp. 475– 478, 553–554, 695; see also R. A. Duff, ‘Rule Violations and Wrongdoings’, in Criminal Law Theory: Doctrines of the General Part (S. Shute and A. Simester eds, 2002) 47, at 68–74.Google Scholar
  13. 28.
    See S. H. Pillsbury, ‘Crimes of Indifference’, 49 Rutgers L. Rev. 105 (1996), pp. 116–123, 174–182; see also G. Gordon, The Criminal Law of Scotland (M. Christie ed., 3rd edn, 2000–2001), pp. 286–300.Google Scholar

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© Antony Duff 2008

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  • Antony Duff

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