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Beccaria: 'On Crimes and Punishments' and Other Writings
In this edition of Beccaria's On Crimes and Punishments and other writings, Richard Bellamy draws on recent Italian scholarship to show how Beccaria wove together the various political languages of the Enlightenment into a political philosophy that combines republican, contractarian, romantic and liberal as well as utilitarian themes. This edition also includes a number of ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published April 13th 1995 by Cambridge University Press
(first published 1995)
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Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria-Bonesana was an Italian jurist, philosopher and politician best known for his treatise 'On Crimes and Punishments' (1764), which condemned torture and the death penalty, and was a founding work in the field of penology.More about Cesare Beccaria...
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“For every crime that comes before him, a judge is required to complete a perfect syllogism in which the major premise must be the general law; the minor, the action that conforms or does not conform to the law; and the conclusion, acquittal or punishment. If the judge were constrained, or if he desired to frame even a single additional syllogism, the door would thereby be opened to uncertainty.”
“When a fixed code of laws, which must be observed to the letter, leaves no further care to the judge than to examine the acts of citizens and to decide whether or not they conform to the law as written; then the standard of the just or the unjust, which is to be the norm of conduct for the ignorant as well as for the philosophic citizen, is not a matter of controversy but of fact; then only are citizens not subject to the petty tyrannies of the many which are the more cruel as the distance between the oppressed and the oppressor is less, and which are far more fatal than those of a single man, for the despotism of many can only be corrected by the despotism of one; the cruelty of a single despot is proportioned, not to his might, but to the obstacles he encounters.”More quotes…