My research is in ethics, moral psychology, and philosophy of law. I am interested in the intersection of these areas and particularly in issues about moral and legal responsibility and the normative conditions of blame and of punishment. Three themes run through my current work:
- Moral and legal responsibility are grounded in an agent's normative competence at the time of their action, and we do not need to complicate our theories of responsibility with historical conditions.
- We very often must choose between competing responses to the same agent. The paradigmatic choice is between blame and sympathy in cases of wrongdoers who had suffered grievously in childhood. Thinking about the choices and the possibility of choices in blame helps us with those cases as well as with thinking about phenomena like forgiveness and hypocrisy.
- We should be skeptical of imputation principles, principles whereby criminal courts impute the presence of factually missing elements to convict blameworthy defendants. For example, a court might rely on imputation principles to punish the drug smuggler who intentionally keeps himself ignorant of the contents of the luggage he has been asked to shepherd across a border. Although these principles can help us capture factually messy cases, they threaten to attribute culpability incorrectly and they raise concerns of legality.
I teach philosophy of law, logic, our reading seminar, and ethics courses. The syllabuses for my current classes are made available to enrolled students via Canvas; others should email me with any inquiries.
In February 2020, I conducted a wedding ceremony for my brother and his wife. I composed a ceremony inspired by my readings in philosophy, law, and the great books as well as by the wedding ceremony for my graduate-school colleagues Amy Berg and Matthew Braich composed and performed by our mutual advisor, David Brink.
You can view my curriculum vitae, you can view my PhilPapers profile, you can view my Twitter profile (and its mostly philosophy-related tweets) at @CraigAgule, or you can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.