Placing Blame: A Theory of the Criminal Law

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9780199599493: Placing Blame: A Theory of the Criminal Law

This is a collection of essays written by Moore which form a thorough examination of the theory of criminal responsibility. The author covers a wide range of topics, giving the book a coherence and unity which is rare in assembled essays. Perhaps the most significant feature of this book is Moore's espousal of a retributivist theory of punishment. This anti-utilitarian standpoint is a common thread throughout the book. It is also a trend which is currently manifesting itself in all areas of moral, political and legal philosophy, but Moore is one of the first to apply such attitudes so sytematically to criminal law theory. As such, this innovative, new book will be of great interest to all scholars in this field.

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About the Author:


Professor Michael Moore holds the Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Chair at the Univerity of Illinois. He is jointly appointed as Professor of Law in the College of Law and as Professor of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also holds an appointment as a Professor with the Center for Advanced Studies. His major works include Causation and Responsibility (OUP, 2009), Act and Crime (OUP, 1993), and Law and Psychiatry (CUP, 1984).

Review:

"The high-point of Moore's exposition ... is a fine and psychologically penetrating defense of subjective moral institutions and emotions as 'heuristic indicators' of moral truths."

--Books and Culture, July/Aug. 2000."

"In an elegant and masterly introductory essay, laying out in order all the tasks of a theory of criminal law, he pleads that any 'deep theory' of the way law operates must take a moral point of view and be founded on moral institutions."

--Books and Culture, July/Aug. 2000."

"This book belongs on the shelves of every serious criminal law theorist and every research library in the world."

--M. M. Feeley, University of California, Berkeley, Choice, Feb 1999, Vol 36, no. 6

"The book has four particular qualities which mark it out as a distinctive contribution to criminal law theory... its scope is remarkably broad. Furthermore, Moore brings an unusual combination of disciplinary perspectives to bear on the wide range of questions which he considers. Moore is
also unusual in giving the emotions a central place in his theory of criminal law. One has to admire the originality of Moore's position. He is a trenchant anti-consequentialist in ethics who nonetheless provides a careful analysis of the proper role of consequential arguments in shaping criminal
law."

--Nicola Lacey, The Modern Law Review 15/08/2000

"...the book works mainly as a collection of essays, written over the past twenty years, on topics in criminal theory. As such, it has real strengths./ ... these are high-quality essays by a considerable figure, and should be read by anyone interested in criminal theory who has not done so
already."

--A. P. Simester, The Cambridge Law Journal, 1998.

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Michael S. Moore
Editorial: Oxford University Press (2010)
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Michael S. Moore
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