Pamela Hieronymi, "Fairness, Sanction, and Condemnation"


Location: 104 Bond Hall (View on

Hieronymi Photo

Pamela Hieronymi, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California Los Angeles and Consultant on NBC’s The Good Place, will present a lecture entitled “Fairness, Sanction, and Condemnation” at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 4 in 104 Bond Hall. The lecture is free and open to all. A reception with light refreshments will follow the lecture.

In her lecture, Hieronymi will press an often overlooked question: why does the fairness of a sanction require an adequate opportunity to avoid it? By pressing this question, she believes we can better understand what people might have in mind when they talk about the “condemnatory force” of moral blame, or perhaps even by the “basic desert” that many argue is compatible with the truth of determinism. Hieronymi argues that if the understanding of condemnation or desert that she proposes captures what people have in mind, it should also show how condemnation or desert, in this sense, can be left behind.  

Hieronymi is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she conducts research at the intersection of the subfields of ethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of action. She has published a series of articles developing an account of the agency we exercise with respect to those states of mind for which we are responsible and another series about the nature and conditions of moral responsibility. She is currently working on a manuscript, Minds that Matter, which will bring these two strands together to unwind the traditional problem of free will and moral responsibility. In addition to her academic publications, Hieronymi has appeared on Philosophy Talk public radio, her thoughts technology and teaching were published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and she has served as a consultant for NBC’s sitcom, The Good Place.   

Originally published at