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Beccaria: 'On Crimes and Punishments' and Other Writings

Beccaria: 'On Crimes and Punishments' and Other Writings



Part of Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought

  • Date Published: April 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521479820

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About the Authors
  • This edition of Beccaria's On Crimes and Punishments and other writings presents an interpretation of his thought. Drawing on Italian scholarship, Richard Bellamy shows how Beccaria wove together the various political languages of the Enlightenment into a novel synthesis, and argues that his political philosophy, often regarded as no more than a precursor of Bentham's, combines republican, contractarian, romantic and liberal as well as utilitarian themes. The result is a complex theory of punishment that derives from a sophisticated analysis of the role of the state and the nature of human motivation in commercial society. The translation used in this edition is based on the fifth Italian edition, and provides English-speaking readers with Beccaria's own order of his text for the first time. A number of pieces from his writings on political economy and the history of civilisation which were not previously available in English are also included.

    • Follows Beccaria's own ordering of the text
    • Introduction reinterprets Beccaria's political philosophy
    • Makes a number of other pieces available in English
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1995
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521479820
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 213 x 137 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.27kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Biographical glossary
    Note on the texts
    Bibliographical note
    On Crimes and Punishments
    To the reader
    1. The origin of punishment
    2. The right to punish
    3. Consequences
    4. The interpretation of the laws
    5. The obscurity of the laws
    6. The proportion between crimes and punishments
    7. Errors in the measuring of punishments
    8. The classification of crimes
    9. Of honour
    10. Of duels
    11. Public peace
    12. The purpose of punishment
    13. Of witnesses
    14. Evidence and forms of judgement
    15. Secret denunciations
    16. Of torture
    17. Of the exchequer
    18. Of oaths
    19. Of prompt punishments
    20. Violent crimes
    21. The punishment of the nobility
    22. Theft
    23. Public disgrace
    24. Parasites
    25. Banishment and confiscations
    26. Family feeling
    27. Lenience in punishing
    28. The death penalty
    29. Of detention awaiting trial
    30. Trials and prescriptions
    31. Crimes difficult to prove
    32. Suicide
    33. Smuggling
    34. Of debtors
    35. Asylums
    36. On setting a price on men's heads
    37. Attempted crimes, accomplices and immunity
    38. Leading interrogations, depositions
    39. Of a particular kind of crime
    40. False ideas of utility
    41. How to prevent crimes
    42. The sciences
    43. Magistrates
    44. Public awards
    45. Education
    46. Pardons
    47. Conclusion
    To Jean Baptiste d'Alembert
    To André Morellet
    Inaugural Lecture
    Reflections on the Barbarousness and the Civilisation of Nations and on the Savage State of Man
    Reflections on Manners and Customs
    On Luxury

  • Author

    Cesare Beccaria


    Richard Bellamy, University College London


    Richard Davies

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