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Grant number like: FA-54758-09

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Marcia Wendy Baron
Trustees of Indiana University (Bloomington, IN 47405-7000)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2010 – 12/31/2010

Self-Defense, Reason, and the Law

My project brings to bear my background in philosophy, and specifically in ethics, on issues in law and criminal legal theory. I am particularly interested in the concept of the reasonable, and the standard of the reasonable person in criminal law. Philosophers and other humanists have a great deal to contribute to clarifying the concepts and negotiating the controversies. My book focuses on self-defense, defending an objective standard for the 'reasonable belief' requirement for the defense, but comments at the same time on the standard of the reasonable person in other areas of criminal law and on the underlying issue of how to understand objectivity in a way that allows us at the same time to do justice to the particulars of a case. More broadly, I examine just what is meant by an objective standard, and by a subjective standard, and consider objections to the effect that an objective standard is insensitive to cultural (and other) differences.