Title

The Legal Enforcement of Morality

Authors

Larry Alexander

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2001

Abstract

In this encyclopedia entry I deal briefly with whether the immorality of conduct is a necessary condition for its criminal prohibition, and then at greater length with the more controversial question of whether conduct's immorality is a sufficient condition for its criminal prohibition. On the latter question, I present and then critique the "liberal" views of J.S. Mill, Joel Feinberg, H.L.A. Hart, and Jonathan Schonsheck, the "liberal perfectionist" views of Michael Moore and Joseph Raz, and the conservative views of Patrick Devlin. I also discuss the relation between the criminal proscription of offensive conduct and the criminal proscription of "harmless immoralities".

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