Culpability, Deplorability and Hate Crime Legislation

The Freedom Center Fall 2019 colloquium series presents Kit Wellman, Dean of Academic Planning, Professor of Philosophy, and Chair of Education (Washington University in St. Louis). Professor Wellman has worked extensively on political legitimacy, political self-determination, duties to obey the law, immigration and the right to exclude, as well as the permissibility of punishment.

I will explore whether it is morally permissible to impose stiffer punishments for hate crimes, where a hate criminal is defined as a wrongdoer who selects her victim at least in part because of an animus toward members of the group to which the victim belongs.  Starting from the assumption that the severity of the punishment it is permissible to impose is a function of the wrongdoer’s actus reus (bad act) and mens rea (guilty mind), I critically assess whether hate criminals commit worse acts or have guiltier minds than ordinary criminals.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community. RSVP to Lucy Schwarz at (link sends e-mail).