Prison Abolition, Reform, and End-State Anxieties

Recently I’ve been thinking about a book by Erin McKenna which I read as an undergraduate: The Task of Utopia: A Pragmatist and Feminist Perspective. I read it then because it promised to bridge the divide between my favorite genre, science-fiction, and my interest in philosophy. But the book profoundly changed me, and I’m always surprised… Continue reading Prison Abolition, Reform, and End-State Anxieties

I have some questions about violence

It looks like I’ll be co-teaching a course on violence with Daniel Levine in the spring, and I have some questions: Is it just me, or do philosophers rarely talk about violence? We talk a lot about killing, and war, and punishment, and even torture. We talk about peace and non-violence. But “violence” doesn’t come… Continue reading I have some questions about violence

When we finally start talking about gun control, what should we say?

I love policy discussions, but the demands for policy discussion on gun control after the shootings in Newtown today are terribly wrong-headed. The problem is that demanding a policy discussion is not the same thing as having a policy discussion. At this point, we’re just talking about talking about gun control. It’s all “mention” and… Continue reading When we finally start talking about gun control, what should we say?

“The purpose of law enforcement, with respect to transactional crimes, is to make sure that they have ‘good’ criminals.”

Keith Humphreys shares this interview with Vanda Felbab-Brown. There are no dull moments, but here’s one I think should give us lefties pause: what will replace the underground marijuana economy? Felbab-Brown explains: Most of the time governments tend to fight illicit economies and not think about what will replace them. Policies are often premised on the… Continue reading “The purpose of law enforcement, with respect to transactional crimes, is to make sure that they have ‘good’ criminals.”