Relational Morality and the Criminal Law


  • Start: Jul 6, 2023
  • End: Jul 8, 2023
  • Location: Freiburg/Germany, Fürstenbergstr. 19
  • Room: Seminar room (F 113)
  • Host: Max Planck Research Group “Criminal Law Theory” in cooperation with the Philosophy Department of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • Contact:
Relational Morality and the Criminal Law

The workshop will address the significance of second-personal/rela­tional conceptions of morality for criminal law and criminal proce­dure. Despite the vast importance that these conceptions have gained in contemporary ethics in recent years, their possible implica­tions for criminal law, especially in Germany, are still relatively unex­plored. One reason may be the peculiarities of (German) criminal law and its theory, according to which crimes are traditionally under­stood as wrongs that, normatively speaking, take place solely in the relationship between the offender and the stateWe believe that second-personal or relational approaches in ethics, as developed by Stephen Darwall or Jay Wallace, challenge this traditional understanding and can be a productive basis for normative theorizing in criminal law. In this workshop, we will bring together philosophers dealing with questions of second-personal/relational morality as well as legal philosophers and theorists from both the Anglo-American and German legal traditions in order to ex­plore the extent to which a second-personal/relational understanding of morality can or should shape our under­stand­ing of criminal law and criminal procedure. Their presentations will address the theoretical foundations of criminal law, doctrinal questions of substantive criminal law, and the structure of criminal procedure.



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