Philosophy of Punishment Seminar – 6846

Spring 2020

This seminar concerns normative justifications for the substantive criminal law and for state systems of punishment for crime. It examines literatures in the philosophy of punishment from the early 19th century (e.g., Kant, Hegel, Bentham) onwards, in contemporary criminal law and punishment theory (many writers), and in social theory (e.g., Durkheim, Weber, Marx, Foucault, Wacquant),concerning justifications for punishing at all, and whom, and how much, and functional questions about the larger social purposes that punishment serves. A focus is on the usefulness of existing paradigms for understanding and justifying such recent developments as restorative justice, community justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, and specialized drug and domestic violence courts. The seminar is writing-intensive with three short papers (5-10 pp.) and one longer one (minimum 20).