What Did The Philosopher Beccaria Say During The Enlightenment?


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Richard Marsden Profile
Richard Marsden answered
Beccaria's writing focused primarily on crime and punishment. His maxims were based on equality so that a punishment for a nobleman should in no way differ from that of a peasant. These humanitarian proposals had a significant impact particularly in the reform of Catherine the Great and Maria Theresa. He believed that every act of authority of one man over another, for which there was not an absolute necessity, was tyrannical.

Other conditions laid down by Beccaria included the notion that crimes were only to be measured by the injury done to society, all trials should be public, the punishment of a nobleman should in no way differ from a lower member of society, and that punishment of death was not authorised by any right. He stated that a punishment may not be an act of violence against a private member of society, but should be public, immediate and necessary. The punishment, he said, should be the least possible in the case given, proportional to the crimes and determined by the laws. This led the philosophes as a whole to cal for the codifying of the constitution into one single document.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Then we owe a lot to Beccaria. I wish we had codified his take on punishment, especially in regard to the death penalty.

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