Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Andrew J. Cohen - Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Christie Hartley - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Andrew I. Cohen

Fourth Advisor

William A. Edmundson


Herbert Morris argues in his influential retributivist paper, "Persons and Punishment," that criminals deserve punishment because their actions represent an unfair distribution of benefits and burdens in society. The proper distribution of benefits and burdens is important, in part, to restore law abiding citizens’ confidence that others will follow the law. In this paper I show that Morris's argument for why criminals deserve punishment morally requires us to set up an institution of rehabilitation in addition to the institution of punishment. Such an institution is morally required because neither pure punishment systems nor punishment systems that incorporate quasi-rehabilitative aspects have ever worked to uphold the necessary confidence that Morris tells us law abiding citizens must have in order to protect the social order. Moreover, we cannot abandon Morris's appeal to the duty to maintain social order without also abandoning a plausibly Morrisian framework.

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