Taking Guilt Seriously, 30 october 2019

Professor Alan Norrie (University of Warwick)

When legal theorists think about guilt, they generally do so in connection with law and legal practices. This is at one level obvious and understandable, but it means that what such theorists have to say has a post hoc, rationalising, quality. Given that a western liberal polity has certain criminal justice institutions and punitive practices, and these are organised to a significant extent around a concept of legal guilt, how should we theorise the existing nexus between the political-legal process and the moral concept? Another approach to guilt would be to think of it as an ethical or emotional element within human psychic development and experience, which may have a relationship to a particular political and legal practice, but also some distance from it, and its own sui generis qualities. In following the second approach, I explore how we might think of guilt in both ethical and psychological terms to develop a moral psychology which could maintain a critical distance from law, and prepare the site for a deeper critical engagement with a legal approach.


Date and time: 3pm, Wednesday 30 October, 2019
Location: 164, Jan Grodecki Room
The event is open to both staff and students

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