Moral Theory and Capital Punishment
1. Edition October 1987
1987. 184 Pages, Softcover
ISBN 978-0-631-15322-1 - John Wiley & Sons
Tom Sorell's book concerns not simply capital punishment but the use of philosophical theories of right and wrong. He argues that such theories are not to be regarded as giving expert knowledge of value, still less a definite technique for resolving practical dilemmas. Instead, they improve moral rhetoric and raise the standard of persuasive speech for and against capital punishment, abortion and euthanasia by introducing higher standards of justification for claims about these practices.
Moral Theory and Capital Punishment illustrated how philosophical theory can be applied to questions of wide public concern. It introduces the leading moral theories proposed by philosophers and derives from them a variety of arguments for and against the death penalty. The conclusion reached is that capital punishment is morally justifiable in certain cases but extremely difficult to introduce safely into general legislation.