In Professor Lindeman’s Crime and Justice class, or PHIL 331, you will learn how to critically analyze the theory behind why humans punish criminal acts and what makes them criminal. You will read a variety of works across this field of philosophy. The class is divided into modules with a…

Smart, in his piece titled simply “Mercy”, discusses mercy within our judicial system and our society as a whole. Smart goes through a variety of situations where mercy is needed or on the other hand, would be inappropriate. Smart argues that mercy is needed within our society because punishments do…

Husak and Bergelson discuss in their two pieces if punishment is necessary and the issues with strict liability in the legal system. Bergelson in, “Does Fault Matter?” asks the central question, “Is it morally permissible to punish people who, through no fault of their own, produced or threatened harm to…

Wood wrote this philosophical piece titled, “Punishment: Nonconsequentialism” to illustrate the different non-consequentialist theories towards punishment. He discusses two main theories the retributionist theory and the denunciation theory. Wood also mentions too “offshoot” theories of the denunciation theory. These theories are the expressive theory and communicative theory. In general, his…

These 3 philosophical pieces discuss punishment within our society. From the utilitarian principle to the retributionism theory. The alternative types of punishment including rehabilitation and retributionist are also discussed by the authors. Lessnoff explains the retibutionsim theory in detail. Bentham illustrates the principle of utility, while Wood uses his piece…

Tadros in “Poverty and Criminal Responsibility” illustrates the injustice done by the criminal justice system on the poor. He outlines a social contract between the state and the people. Tadros states that the main problem in our society is, “the state is caught in a moral dilemma with respect to…

Paulina Silwa in “The Power of Excuses” illustrates the moral aspect of making excuses. Whether we are late for work or forgot a friend’s birthday, everyone makes excuses for mistakes at some point. But Silwa asks the questions of “Where are these excuses not acceptable? What kind of excuses are…

Moral luck occurs when an agent did not have control over an action and its consequence and an agent is either blamed or praised. Enoch and Kessler both illustrate this theory of moral luck in depth. Enoch clearly states that he does not believe in the theory, and Kessler believes…

These two articles are centered around the topic of mens rea. Mens rea is the mental state and awareness of committing a crime that makes you culpable. It is a pretty significant topic within law and many have their own opinions on the subject matter. Baron, in Negligence, Mens Rea…

Simester and Cornford share similar arguments in their two articles. Simester in, Crimes, Harms, and Wrongs, states that, “ No one, including the state, should coerce others without good reason, all the more so when the measure involves censorious hard treatment of those who do not comply.” In general, anyone…

kate kuisel

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