by | Aug 22, 2021 | Assignment

Submit a 2000 words essay on the topic Punishment can only be adequately understood if it is situated within a wider context of the philosophy behind it, as well as the social changes surrounding it, at particular historical moments. Discuss with reference to the rise of imprisonment as the d.The ultimate punishment was death at the gallows. The punishment was mainly for publicity, to remind of the horrors that awaited wrong-doers and the participation of the victim was only incidental.The method of punishment has evolved over a period of time in line with changes in the ideological and philosophical context of the society and also considering practical aspects. There has been a shift from punishment of the body to punishment of the mind and soul. Confinement of a person as a way of providing time for contemplation, retrospection and repentance and thereby correcting aberrations of the mind is now widely accepted. The rise of imprisonment as a predominant form of punishment is consistent with this philosophy.Several theories for the rationale for punishment have been put forward. Many of them regard punishment as the vengeance of the offended against the offender regulated by a higher authority. According to an opinion, “punishment is an evil inflicted upon a wrong doer as a wrongdoer, on behalf and the discretion of the society, in its corporate capacity, of which he is a permanent or temporary member” (Oppenheimer, 1913). The basic predatory instinct of retaliation as a form of defence against future attacks may be seen as a justification for vengeance at the individual level. But, as part of a group, this right to vengeance is surrendered in return for protection at the group level. However the concept of punishment as a form of vengeance is inconsistent with the teachings of most religions and also the values and norms of civilised societies.Members of civilised societies are likely to subscribe to the view that inflicting pain on someone is wrong. But since punishment involves causing pain and suffering deliberately and intentionally, the question arises whether punishment can be justified from a moral stand point. The retributive approach argues that punishment

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