[ExI] insanity plea

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Feb 26 23:53:07 UTC 2013

On 26/02/2013 16:39, John Clark wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 25, 2013  Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com 
> <mailto:stathisp at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     > There is no point in punishment if perpetrators and potential
>     perpetrators aren't going to change their behaviour.
> But no matter how crazy somebody is you can ALWAYS change their 
> behavior. Imprisoning them will change their behavior, at the very 
> least their prey population will become quite different. And if a 
> bullet is placed in their brain their behavior will change even more.

The point of punishment is manifold. Check 
outhttp://lawcomic.net/guide/?p=60 and onwards for a nice overview from 
a legal perspective. Some rather interesting points about the failure of 

Looking at the list, rehabilitation and deterrence depend on learning. 
Removal/prevention is all about just preventing certain actions. 
Retaliation is more about inducing certain states in other people. 
Ethicists might discuss the justice aspect of retribution endlessly, but 
one key aspect is that the target is a moral agent: it is not fair to 
punish people who could not do otherwise or did not have an 
understanding of what they did, so by virtue of them being moral agents 
they also need to have some sort of learning (otherwise they would not 
be moral agents in the first place).

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Faculty of Philosophy
Oxford University

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