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Moral responsibility scepticism, understood as taking seriously the possibility that we lack the kind of control in our actions to be truly deserving of blame and praise, raises concerns about how we can justify punishing criminals. If no one deserves blame, on what basis can we sanction criminals? The Quarantine Model by Derk Pereboom is one proposal that offers a possible justification. It draws on an analogy between carriers of severe infectious diseases and dangerous criminals: in the same way that we may be able to justifiably quarantine blameless individuals carrying dangerous diseases for the purpose of self-protection and the prevention of harm to others, we could similarly justifiably “quarantine” dangerous criminals for the purpose of self-defence and defence of others, even though such individuals are blameless according to moral responsibility sceptics. In other words, this model appeals to the right to harm offenders in self-defense and defence of others to justify criminal sanctions. But there are questions about whether such a model can adequately deter criminal behaviour. In fact, some have argued it might incentivize crime. I explore the limits of the right to harm defensively and argue that it could be used to justify deterring punishments under some circumstances.

Forthcoming events

NDPH Seminar - Changing the way medical research is funded: Some lessons from Australia

Thursday, 26 September 2019, 4pm to 5pm @ Seminar rooms, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

Ethox/WEH Seminar - Reclaiming a Sense of Common Humanity: A Confucian Ethical Vision

Wednesday, 02 October 2019, 11am to 12.30pm @ Level 1 Ax Meeting Room, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

UVBO Seminar - Can wearable sensors and machine learning enhance our understanding of lifestyle health behaviours?

Thursday, 17 October 2019, 1pm to 2pm @ L1 Meeting room, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

UVBO Seminar - Nutrient timing and human health

Thursday, 24 October 2019, 1pm to 2pm @ School of Anthropology, 61 Banbury Road, OX2 6PE

Pharmaceutical policies in the long run: reflections on 60th anniversary of the Hinchliffe Report

Monday, 11 November 2019, 9.30am to 5pm @ Merton College, Merton Street Oxford, OX1 4JD

Designing and Running Streamlined Randomized Trials

Monday, 13 January 2020 to Tuesday, 14 January 2020, 9.30am - 5pm