PHIL 314 A: Philosophy of Crime and Punishment

Meeting Time: 
TTh 11:30am - 1:20pm
SAV 132
Janice Moskalik

Additional Details:

What is punishment? What justifies legal punishment? Who should we punish? What limits (if any) should there be on the scope of the criminally punishable offences? Should we ever exempt or excuse persons from criminal responsibility? What is the relationship between criminal responsibility and moral responsibility? This course is intended for students who are interested in thinking carefully, critically and philosophically about criminal punishment. We will explore some of the notions implied by the above questions, and consider in detail utilitarian and retributivist arguments for the imposition of criminal sanctions on wrongdoers. Previous experience in philosophy (other than PHIL 120) strongly recommended, especially PHIL 240 and/or PHIL 114.

TEXTS: The Classical Utilitarians: Bentham and Mill, John Troyer, ed.; Punishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of Law, H.L.A. Hart.

Catalog Description: 
Examination of philosophical theories regarding criminal habits and punishment and the philosophical problems connected with specific topics in criminal law. Examines proper subject matter of criminal law (drug use, pornography, euthanasia); limits of criminal sanctions; crime and privilege (corporate crime, white-collar crime, blackmail); justifications for punishment; mercy; and execution.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:18pm