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DALL·E 2023-05-01 23.35.01 - Dark vast forest heavily blanketed in a white fog, surrealist

Moral Luck, Free Will, and the Justice System

A media list, curated by Thomas Larsen

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Prompt: Most of the world's justice systems presuppose free will, but is that right?

While the argument of whether or not humans truly have free will has been raging on for centuries with no definitive answer in sight, it is true that much of our society functions on the assumption that we are each in control of our own actions and therefore responsible for their consequences. If this could be proven partially untrue, or even completely false, would this require us to change how we punish crime? This discussion relies heavily on the essay Moral Luck by Thomas Nagel and should be read first.

  • Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1866

  • The Stranger, Albert Camus, 1942

  • Minority Report, Phillip K. Dick, 1956

  • A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, 1962

  • Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, 1969 

  • Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, 2004 

  •  Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005

  • 1Q84, Haruki Murakami, 2009

  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton, 2018

  • Monster, Walter Dean Myers, 1999

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