The Grammar of Criminal Law: American, Comparative, and International

By George P. Fletcher | Go to book overview

SEVEN
The Act Requirement

§7.1. Person and Thing

The distinction between persons and things is rooted in our shared understanding of the world. A person—as opposed to a robot or a puppet— functions as a self-contained source of his or her own movements. Things lack this internal self-control. They move when they are moved by external forces or are programmed to move according to prior instructions. Persons have bodies that are, of course, also things in the sense that their bodies obey the laws of gravity and they can be forced by external pressures into moving in predictable ways, yet the standard experience of human beings is interaction as self-originating actors.

We possess something that enables us to move in this autonomous way. This “something” goes by different names: “anima,” “will,” “volition,” or “agency.” The point is always the same. We choose to move in a certain way and we typically move in that way. This capacity for executing choices provides the foundations for responsibility in criminal law.

Western culture seems committed to the view that the world is divided into these two categories: persons and things. The former are actors and owners—they can be held responsible for what they do. The latter are nonactors and are subject to being owned. They are not responsible for the

-266-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Grammar of Criminal Law: American, Comparative, and International
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface - Intellectual Journeys vii
  • Contents xxiii
  • I - Philosophical Foundations 1
  • Introduction 3
  • One - Criminal Theory 21
  • Two - Criminal Law 69
  • Three - Language 117
  • Four - Political Theory 151
  • Five - Moral Theory 190
  • II - Toward a Comparative Synthesis 219
  • Six - Punishment 221
  • Seven - The Act Requirement 266
  • Eight - Guilt 298
  • Self-Critical Conclusion 340
  • Bibliography 343
  • Index 359
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 366

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.