Say you have a disagreement with someone over a newly emerging claim in the field of punishment theory—a problem many of you, no doubt, struggle with often. How could you express it? On the streets of Chicago, you might voice your disagreement by yelling the loudest or resorting to physical violence. In the highly evolved world of academia, however, you write a paper. The last Crime and Punishment Workshop was host to one such disagreement when Professor Donald Braman of the D. Brakahffman—Braman, Dan Kahan, and David Hoffman—trio was on hand to discuss their latest (as of yet unpublished) paper. The subject of the disagreement? The claim that humans have an innate sense of justice.
For regular readers, that subject should be familiar. Last November, the Workshop hosted Professor Paul Robinson of Penn Law, who presented results suggesting that humans share intuitions of justice across political and cultural divides, and that these intuitions may be innate. In their paper, Brakahffman critique such claims of "punishment naturalism" (i.e., the notion that shared intuitions of justice are explained by evolutionary biology), and offer an alternate approach, which they term "punishment realism."