For instance, punishment as a means of constructing social solidarity, punishment as an expression of culture and sensibilities, and punishment as a reflection of normalization and discipline. Through suffering comes rationalization of decisions made and the circumstances of life. Utilitarianism attempts to distinguish between right and wrong by measuring a decision based on its calculated worth. Nihilism can also involve denying gods existence and any objective meaning of life. This theory emphasizes end over means, therefore it is a teleological or consequentialist ethical theory. Although different varieties of utilitarianism admit different characterizations, the basic idea behind all of them is to in some sense maximize utility, which is often defined in terms of wellbeing or related concepts. The historical context of crime and punishment by fyodor. This is just after the murder, when raskolnikov is obsessing over possible evidence of his crime. Nihilism is one of the targeted philosophies in crime and punishment. The utilitarian theory of punishment seeks to punish offenders to discourage, or deter, future wrongdoing. It has been objected that since my motives, if not my ethics, seem to be utilitarian, then i should be in the same difficulties with respect to the incompleteness of those utilitarian motivations as the normative utilitarian is with her normative theory. Punishing the innocent and the compatibility of utilitarianism and rights mirko bagaric retributivism has replaced utilitarianism as the main philosophical justification of punishment. Therefore, like the great literary heroes before him, walter white demonstrates both nihilistic and utilitarian propensities in order to rationalize his highly illegal acts. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of crime and punishment and what it means.
This crimeloving nihilist wouldnt commit a crime that has a high chance of punishment that outweighs to prospective joy. And then most people dont commit crimes because they take no joy in it. The author belonged in a society wherein russian nihilism was prevalent. Governments have several theories to support the use of punishment to maintain order in society. Nihilism in crime and punishment essay 612 words bartleby. Utilitarianism in crime and punishment by katie jander on.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Moral nihilists assert that morality does not exist at all. Individualism arguments for utilitarianism and individualism will never end. A sociopsychological exploration of fyodor dostoyevskys. Raskolnikov adopts this theory in order to justify the murder of. Dostoevsky presents arkady svidrigailov as a foil character to the protagonist rodion raskolnikov as they exhibit parallels and also key differences. Nihilism is one of the most difficult philosophies to accurately define because of its ambiguous nature. He seems to live in some kind of dread of human interaction and appears to. Choose a novel or play and write a wellorganized essay in which you show how a specific death scene helps to illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole. Fyodor dostoevsky s crime and punishment explores the philosophies of nihilism and rationalism common in russia during the period and their subsequent consequences through its characters. Litcharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in crime and punishment, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. In the christian system, you bear the guilt, which is the consequence of your sin, but not the punishment. In the greek system, you bear the punishment, which is the consequence of your crime, but you dont bear the guilt. His novel crime and punishment is considered one of the greatest christian novels of all time and was revolutionary in the use of dreams.
Strakhov, a conservative and friend of dostoevsky, treated raskolnikov as both a sympathetic and realistic character. Thackeray dostoyevsky is considered one of russias greatest novelists and today stands as one of the worlds greatest. Retributivism vs utilitarianism punishment free essays. Kant philosophy of murder warrants death sentences as not acceptable to the modern civilized society. Utilitarianism in crime and punishment by emmadellaposta. Object of punishment is not only punishing the criminal but to prevent the crime in future also. Dostoevsky is the first novelist to have fully accepted and dramatised the principle of uncertainty or indeterminacy in the presentation of character rahv, norton, 549. Dostoevskys portrayal of antinihilism 1443 words 6 pages. He was accused of taking part in conversations against the censorship, of reading a letter from byelinsky to gogol, and of knowing of the intention to set up a printing press.
Crime and punishment nihilismutilitarianism by mackenzie. Raskolnikov overhears a conversation between a student and an officer in which the student makes case for justifying the theft and homicide of alyona, the pawnbroker. Utilitarianism states that the result of an act is the real measure of whether it is good or bad. Posted by andrew on may 5, 2012 in criminal law, key concepts 0 comments.
In crime and punishment, raskolnikov adopts the philosophy of nihilism, which is a disdain for the things that traditionally drive morality, such as family, religion, and societal norms. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Utilitarianism in crime and punishment essay 1874 words. Similarly, in fyodor dostoyevsky s crime and punishment, the protagonist, raskolnikov, warrants slaying his pawnbroker for a similar reason. Utilitarians embracing nihilism 20 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of the book utilitarianism, by the british philosopher john stuart mill. Crime and punishment themes from litcharts the creators.
Nihilism does not permit for any normative moral theory, including utilitarianism, because theyre based off value theories. An analysis of existentialism and nihilism in dostoevskys. That is, a sentence that is appropriate to the offense, taking into account a multitude of discrete factors, including a persons life circumstances. The other major rationale for punishment is denunciation.
Moral theories start off with their version of what is good and bad and move on from there to determine what is permissible and impermissible. Utilitarianism in crime and punishment raskolnikovs mathematical evaluation of the moral dilemma presented to him in dostoevskys crime and punishment exemplifies the empirical view of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism commits us to the supposedly unthinking practice of. But dostoevsky portrays these schools of thought in an unflattering light, as destabilizing, dangerous influences on his protagonist. The philosopher and moral nihilist ian hinckfuss might be helpful. Theories of punishment can be divided into two general philosophies. Utilitarianism is based on the principle of utility. As utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism, the utilitarian must look to the consequences or outcome of possible punishment to determine when punishment should be applied. Leading meaningful lives in the anthropocene many people already recognize moral reasons for driving less, eating less meat, supporting public policies aimed at mitigating climate change and so forth. Chapters ivvi in fyodor dostoevskys crime and punishment. Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories that promotes actions that maximize happiness and wellbeing for the affected individuals. Introduction morality is illusion law is force life is will to power.
One death, and a thousand lives in exchangeits simple arithmetic. One of raskolnikovs motivations for committing the crime is the concept of utilitarianism. Crime and punishment essay parallels and contrasts. Social norms, necessity, and social desirability are some of the factors that lawmakers balance when developing punishment statutes. Image of justice in dostoevskys crime and punishment.
In its simplest form, one might consider it an extremely pessimistic form of skepticism in which the individual discounts even the idea of existence. Utilitarianism in crime and punishment the european. The most important themes in literature are sometimes developed in scenes in which a death or deaths take place. According to whitney eggers on philosophies in crime and punishment, nihilists argued that there was a distinction between the weak and the strong, and that in fact the strong had a right to trample over the weak eggers. Nihilism favors a strict materialism, a belief that reality exists only within the bounds of the material world. It was first published in the literary journal the russian messenger in twelve monthly. What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds. Dostoevsky s crime and punishment is a tale of poverty and suffering by all characters. Nihilism as an ethical stance is the view that there is no such thing as right and wrong or good and badevil actions. Crime and punishment yale university political science 252a gregory huber and ian shapiro fall 2004 i.
Much debate surrounds how to punish criminal offenders. Raskolnikov has not seen his mother in 3 years and seems to enjoy the pain the separation causes her. The punishment serves as an example to the rest of the society, and it puts others on notice that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated and will be punished. Raskolnikov overhears a conversation between a student and an officer in which the student makes case for justifying the theft and homicide of. Introduction this course deals with topics in the theory and practice of crime and punishment in contemporary america from the standpoint of politics and political theory. Dostoyevskys crime and punishment 1866 is based on the writers terrifying experience with summary justice and the cruel penal system of tzarist russia. This text concisely puts forward the case for a form of nihilism fusing thoughts from hume, schopenhauer, and. Crime and punishment, by fyodor dostoyevsky advanced placement english, ms. Crime and punishment notebook book 1 pg 1he had become so completely absorbed in himself, and isolated from his fellows that he dreaded meeting, not only his landlady, but any one at all. Raskolnikov raskolnikovs mathematical evaluation of the moral dilemma presented to him in dostoevskys crime and punishment exemplifies the empirical view of utilitarianism. Criminality, morality, and guilt criminality, morality, and guilt are central preoccupations of dostoevskys. In a letter describing his plan to write crime and punishment, he said, punishment meted out by the law to the criminal deters the criminal far less than the lawgivers think he believed that in order for punishment to work, it had to make the criminal accept his own guilt. Nihilism was generally destructive, as it sought to abolish all established truths.
Like them, raskolnikov embraces utilitarianism and nihilism. Unless maybe that nihilist has something to prove, but then that isnt about the joy of committing crime. The retributive theory seeks to punish offenders because they deserve to be. An analysis of raskolnikovs utilitarianism in crime and. The phrasing coming upon me suggests two interpretations of the passage.
Lets focus on the two main approaches to justify punishment from a political theory point of view. Crime and punishment primarily analyses the concepts of utilitarianism and nihilism, which ultimately culminate into kierkegaardian existentialism. Experiencing dostoevskys russia american university. Crime and punishment by fyodor dostoevsky is a result of the historical milieu in which it was included. That punishment, which, considered in itself, appeared base and repugnant to all generous sentiments, is elevated to the first rank of benefits, when it is regarded not as an act of wrath or of vengeance against a guilty or unfortunate individual who has given way to mischievous inclinations, but as an indispensable sacrifice to the common safety. It is a gripping novel showing how the image of justice varies from person to person. As utilitarianism aims at maximizing utility or happiness, it follows that punishment should be applied when it leads to an improved situation. Therefore, to a nihilist, all values, relationships, authority, beliefs, and emotions are baseless and empty. This quote, having been said so early on, really displays how isolated raskolnikov is from everyone else in his life. Since this philosophy inspires much of public policy in western countries, mercatornet hopes to publish a number of reflections to mark the occasion. His 1866 novel, crime and punishment, addresses the nihilism and disregard for moral responsibility that swept the russian youth during the 1860s through the novels protagonist, rodion raskolnikov, who creates and executes a plan to murder a pawnbroker. Raskolnikov believes that by using the money he takes from the pawnbroker to perform good.509 1053 812 218 90 874 147 1454 927 860 327 1229 314 438 413 1224 831 187 42 899 673 155 219 251 965 160 419 915 746 1209 541 1157 969 260 999 686 702 1017 1158 242 646 842 934