The Limits of the Enforcement of Morality Through the Criminal Law

  • Carlos Santiago Nino
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 172)


What are the limits of the state power to punish people for the performance of some acts? This is an old and complex question. One of its facets is related to the issue of whether or not the mere immorality of an act provides a prima facie reason for resorting to the threat and imposition of punishment against the person who intends to perform or actually performs that act. The competing positions on this particular issue have extensive ramifications which reach out into several aspects of the adjudication of criminal responsibility and presuppose radically different views of society. The purposes of this article are, first, to identify and to distinguish the social conceptions underlying the opposite answers to the aforementioned question, and, secondly, to show sane of the implications that each of those answers has for a system of criminal law.


Moral Judgment Moral Standard Criminal Responsibility Moral System Critical Morality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 11.
    D. Parfit, “Later Selves and Moral Principles,” in A. Montefiore (ed.), Philosophy and Personal Relations (London, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  2. 20.
    H. L. A. Hart and A. M. Honore, Causation in the Law (Oxford, 1959 ), pp. 38.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Santiago Nino

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations