Criminal Culpability: The Possibility of a General Theory

TitleCriminal Culpability: The Possibility of a General Theory
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsHorder, J
JournalLaw and Philosophy

In this article, I try to do two things. First I analyse critically the suggestion that the principles of criminal culpability can be explained by reference to a single, all-encompassing concept, such as “{}defiance of the law”. I then go on to explain the foundations of criminal culpability by reference to three interlocking theories –- the capacity theory, the character theory, and the agency theory. I conclude that even these three theories may not be sufficient to explain the complex structure of culpability, which is shaped as much by shared cultural understanding as by moral theory.