Attempts: In the Philosophy of Action and the Criminal Law

Paperback | December 29, 2012

byGideon Yaffe

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Gideon Yaffe presents a ground-breaking work which demonstrates the importance of philosophy of action for the law. Many people are serving sentences not for completing crimes, but for trying to. So the law governing attempted crimes is of practical as well as theoretical importance. Questionsarising in the adjudication of attempts intersect with questions in the philosophy of action, such as what intention a person must have, if any, and what a person must do, if anything, to be trying to act. Yaffe offers solutions to the difficult problems courts face in the adjudication of attemptedcrimes. He argues that the problems courts face admit of principled solution through reflection either on what it is to try to do something; or on what evidence is required for someone to be shown to have tried to do something; or on what sentence for an attempt is fair given the close relation betweenattempts and completions. The book argues that to try to do something is to be committed by one's intention to each of the components of success and to be guided by those commitments. Recognizing the implications of this simple and plausible position helps us to identify principled grounds on whichthe courts ought to distinguish between defendants charged with attempted crimes.

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Gideon Yaffe presents a ground-breaking work which demonstrates the importance of philosophy of action for the law. Many people are serving sentences not for completing crimes, but for trying to. So the law governing attempted crimes is of practical as well as theoretical importance. Questionsarising in the adjudication of attempts int...

Gideon Yaffe is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Southern California. He is also a member of the network on criminal responsibility and prediction of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Law and Neuroscience Project. He is the author of books and articles concerned with moral and criminal r...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:December 29, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199664641

ISBN - 13:9780199664641

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart 1: What are Attempts and Why Do We Criminalize Them?1. Rationalizing the Criminalization of Attempt2. The Need for an Intention3. The Nature of TryingAppendix: A Competing Conception of TryingPart 2: The Elemental Conception of the Intention in Attempt and Its Implications4. The Intention in Attempt5. Circumstances and "Impossibility"Appendix: Lady Eldon and Her Children, Mr. Fact and Mr. Law6. If it Can't be Done Intentionally Can it be Tried?7. Trying by Asking: Solicitation as AttemptPart 3: The Evidential Conception of the Act Element and Its Implications8. The Need for an Act9. Stupid Plans and Inherent Impossibility10. The Act in AttemptPart 4: Sentencing Attempts11. Abandonment and Change of Mind12. Is it Unfair to Punish Completed Crimes More than Attempts?Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "a resounding success ... will help to shape the agenda for the philosophical treatment of the problem of attempted crimes for some years to come" --Journal of Applied Philosophy