Two Cheers for Vindictiveness

Jeffrie G. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Vindictiveness (the desire for revenge) is commonly condemned as irrational, immoral, and deserving of no place in civilized legal systems. It is here argued that this condemnation may be hasty - may often reflect more what we think we ought to say than what we actually feel and believe. After an attempt to rehabilitate, at least partially, the reputation of the vindictive passions, the article closes with some serious cautions with respect to the ultimate legitimacy of acting upon these passions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalPunishment & Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • emotions and punishment
  • revenge
  • sentencing
  • victim impact statements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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