Phi Kappa Phi and the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies present a talk by Dr. Matthew Altman, "Justifying Punishment in the Face of Uncertainty." The talk will be held on Thursday, May 23 at 4 PM in Black Hall room 151.
Punishment by the state is often justified on one of two basic principles: either because of the consequences, such as deterrence (utilitarianism), or because the criminal deserves it (retributivism). Dr. Altman will argue that these two basic principles do not have the same obligatory force for the different agents in the criminal justice system. Legislators are in a better position to assess the consequences of general policies, while judges and juries are in a better position to determine a particular defendant’s degree of guilt. This supports a compromise position in which both utilitarianism and retributivism function together, but for different agents.
For more information, contact Lori Hauser at 963-1818.