Classifying Reactions to Wrongdoing: Taxonomies of Misdeeds, Sanctions, and Aims of Sanctions

By R. Murray Thomas | Go to book overview

8
Types of Sanctions

The contents of chapter 8 derive from the line of reasoning advanced in chapter 7. The purpose of chapter 8 is to present the sanction taxonomy in the form of a concise outline that is convenient for researchers to apply when classifying proposed consequences.

This chapter's classification system is intended to be used in conjunction with the taxonomies of misdeeds (chapter 3) and of aims (chapter 6). In other words, the present chapter does not specify the offenses for which the listed sanctions can be applied nor all of the aims those sanctions might be expected to achieve.

Throughout chapter 8, sanctions are worded in terms of actions, such as censuring offenders or restricting their rights or providing them with educational opportunities. These actions may produce results that reflect not only the proposer's aims (intended outcomes) but also concomitant results (unintended outcomes). Concomitant results can be viewed by the proposer as desirable, undesirable, neutral, or partially desirable and partially undesirable. The following three examples illustrate this point. Executing a murderer not only achieves the aim of making the punishment fit the crime but also ensures that the murderer will never again commit the same offense or any other. Sentencing a thief to prison in order to eliminate her opportunities to steal again will also place her in daily intimate contact with a host of inmates who are unlikely to serve as constructive role models. Jailing a drug user has the desired effect of preventing him from ingesting illegal substances but it also eliminates his chance to continue earning a living for his wife and children.

It should be apparent that sanctions and their consequences, in and of themselves, are imbued with no inherent goodness or badness. Whether they are considered to be good or bad depends on the intentions and values of the people who suggest and assess responses to wrongdoing.

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Classifying Reactions to Wrongdoing: Taxonomies of Misdeeds, Sanctions, and Aims of Sanctions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles In Contributions in Psychology ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1- Characteristics of Taxonomies 1
  • Conclusion 18
  • 2- Conceptualizing Wrongdoing 21
  • Conclusion 48
  • 3- Classifying Misdeeds 49
  • Conclusion 53
  • 4- Modes of Reasoning About Aims and Sanctions 55
  • Conclusion 76
  • 5- Foundations of an Aims Taxonomy 77
  • Conclusion 113
  • 6- Types of Aims 115
  • Conclusion 126
  • 7- Foundations of a Sanctions Taxonomy 127
  • Conclusion 178
  • 8: Types of Sanctions 179
  • 9- Applications 193
  • Conclusion 201
  • References 203
  • Index 211
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