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Offense to Others is the second volume of Joel Feinberg's work, The Moral Limits of Criminal Law a four-volume work that addresses the question: what kinds of conduct may the state make criminal without infringing on the moral automony of individual citizens?
In volume I, Harm to Others the author illuminated the moral implications of the ""harm principle"" and demonstrated how it must be interpreted if it is to be a plausible guide for legislation.
In this second volume, he focuses on the ""offense principle"", the principle that preventing shock, disgust, or revulsion is always a morally relevant reason for legal prohibitions. Early chapters clarify the concept of an ""offended mental state"" and further contrast the concept of offence with harm. The law of nuisance is then considered as a model for statutes creating ""morals offences"" and the author shows its inadaquacy as a model for understanding ""profound offences"".
The differences between minor and profound offences are examined in detail as well as the conceptual, moral, and judicial problems raised by obscenity, pornography, and ""dirty"" words.