Article: Intent is Like Remorse

The argument of this article is that intent, like remorse, is irrelevant to restitution. By default, intent, like any other subjective value judgment,  should play the role of a restitution-discount variable determined by the victim of an aggressive act, not the arbitration company.

Jeremiah Dyke is an adjunct math professor and a libertarian writer. Feel free to contact him at or through his website

Read the Full Article by Jeremiah Dyke

Afterwards, discuss it below.

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  • I wonder how the author deals with threats. It is normally considered aggression in libertarian theory to threaten (in a “palpable, immediate, and direct” way to use Rothbard’s language). Yet, it does not seem that the author’s theory of criminality can account for why this would be: in particular, he gives the example of intending to hit someone in the face, yet missing, as an example of when restitution would not be given despite intent to aggress. Yet, is this not a threat of violence? I cannot see a distinction between such a situation and a threat.

    • First, I’m going to address the previous commenter.

      The example, I suppose, makes more sense if you figure in the fact that such an act is likely to provoke a defensive response. Establishing which person is truly the “aggressor” is therefore necessary, even if the aggressor didn’t literally cause damages to his intended (or unintended) victim.

      To the author…

      What I thought was going to be a well-reasoned rebuttal to your arguments I have since talked myself out of… I can’t think of anything in your post with which I do not agree. I can’t think of a single incident where intent, alone (meaning not accompanied by action) caused damage to anyone. I agree that intent may be used to discount restitution, especially in the case of self-defense or defense of others.

      I’ll keep re-reading your post though to see if something else jumps out at me. But don’t hold your breath. 🙂