[I]t seems still to be widely held that Justice requires pain to be inflicted on a man who has done wrong, even if no benefit result either to him or to others from the pain. Personally, I am so far from holding this view that I have an instinctive and strong moral aversion to it: and I hesitate to attribute it to Common Sense, since I think that it is gradually passing away from the moral consciousness of educated persons in the most advanced communities: but I think it is still perhaps the more ordinary view.
(Henry Sidgwick, The Methods of Ethics, 7th ed. [Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1981], bk. III, chap. V, sec. 5, p. 281 [first published in 1907; 1st ed. published in 1874])
Note from KBJ: There are three types of retributivism, each of which utilitarians such as Sidgwick reject. The first is known as minimal retributivism. It holds that only the guilty may be punished. The second, permissive retributivism, holds that anyone who is guilty may be punished (even if no good comes of it). The third, maximal retributivism, holds that everyone who is guilty must be punished (even if no good comes of it). Utilitarians believe that punishment is justified only if, and only to the extent that, good comes of it. There is nothing primitive or barbaric about retributivism, as Sidgwick implies. In fact, I would argue that punishing the innocent or not punishing the guilty is barbaric. Note that one can be a minimal retributivist without being a permissive retributivist and that one can be a permissive retributivist without being a maximal retributivist. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who was hardly uneducated or primitive, was a maximal retributivist.