Lecture 6,7 on Criminal Responsibility
Survival on a lifeboat: The Queen vs. Dudley and Stephens
What makes you a criminal? What are the responsibilities as a citizen?
1884 taking this boat from England to Australia
o Captain Dudley bought a saxtent, 24 days later, German ship picked them up
o Conversations in those 24 days: captain says we're not going to make it, someone
o The young gets sicker, not connected to a family. Dudley ate the younger one
o Parker's brother understood where the Captain is coming from and forgave him for
o In extremis in extreme cases, it is morally acceptable to break the law
o Ex post facto law law written after the act; this case is not a case of ex post facto
o Philosophical issue what constitutes criminal responsibility? What are the
conditions for criminal responsibility?
Coleridge self-preservation is not necessarily in all justifying end; there are more
important principles that self-preservation
In general, it's true but they might be an exception to it
Killing and eating Parker was not a necessary duty; thus, you will be punished
Coleridge said the opposite, argues sometimes the captain and the crew have
to go down
Ex. like in war, you might die for the men in extreme cases
Captain have higher duty than the citizen, therefore captains might have to
sacrifice himself for others
If we can kill people in cases of necessity,
Practice to self-preservation, it cannot work well because who gets to judge.
Who gets killed and why?
Coleridge: Therefore it was not necessary to kill Parker; still considered as
Act utilitarianism vs. Rule utilitarianism
o 1820 dominate thinking in Britain
o Social condition
o Utilitarianism the greatest go to the greatest number
o Jeremy Bentham increasing wealth for the majority (the poor)
o Bentham argued: An act is good iff it increases the general utility of the many over
o Ex. the lifeboat example, sacrifice yourself for the greater good (survival is good)
o Parker is being sacrificed by Dudley for the greater good