Getting Even: Revenge as a Form of Justice

Getting Even: Revenge as a Form of Justice

Getting Even: Revenge as a Form of Justice

Getting Even: Revenge as a Form of Justice

Synopsis

Throughout most early cultures, the first form of justice was revenge. When a wrong occurred, revenge was an acceptable, even encouraged way to find redress. However, contemporary Western society condemns revenge both legally and socially. There are still penalties for taking the law into your own hands.

In Getting Even, Charles K. B. Barton challenges the notion that revenge is always wrong. He argues that revenge is personal retribution and that, like any other form of punishment, it can be both just and unjust. Framing the issue in the broadest context as a way to address the needs of victim, offender, and society, he offers a blueprint for improving the justice system and attaining a true resolution to crime. Barton makes a compelling case for implementing institutionalized revenge as a way of allowing victims to attain adequate material restitution, apology, and justice.

Excerpt

In writing this book I have relied on many people whose support I would like to acknowledge. Foremost among them are Karen van den Broek, Michael Tooley, lohn Braithwaite, the late Richard Sylvan, Graham Oddie, and Roy Perrett. I sincerely thank them for their time and generous comments and suggestions. I also wish to thank all the other philosophers who have tested and critiqued my ideas and arguments in the context of conference and seminar presentations in Australia and New Zealand. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the generous support received from three institutions: Massey University, Charles Sturt University, and The Australian National University.

In their own ways, all these excellent people and institutions have contributed to the completion of this project. It is now my pleasure to share with them the credit and the satisfaction.

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