Internal WiP: Professor Gregg Caruso

Free Will Skepticism and the Public Health-Quarantine Model

Professor Gregg Caruso (SUNY Corning)

This seminar will be based on Professor Caruso's current 'Work in Progress' title 'Rejecting Retributivism: Free Will, Punishment, and Criminal Justice'

While retributivism provides one of the main sources of justification for punishment within the criminal justice system, there are good philosophical and practical reasons for rejecting it. One such reason is that it is unclear that agents deserve to suffer for the wrongs they have done in the sense required for retributivism. If we reject retributivism, however, what are we left with? Consequentialist deterrence theories offer one alternative, but they unfortunately face ethical concerns of their own. I contend that the best alternative to retributivism—one consistent with free will skepticism—is the public health-quarantine model, a non-retributive alternative for addressing criminal behavior that draws on the public health framework and prioritizes prevention and social justice. I will argue that the public health-quarantine model is not only an ethically defensible and practically workable alternative to retributive punishment, it is more humane than retributivism and preferable to other non-retributive alternatives.

Venue: Petrov Room, Suite 1 Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe's Street, Oxford OX1 1PT

Booking: not required – internal only