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Kenneth Simons
University of California, Irvine
  1.  52
    When is Negligent Inadvertence Culpable?: Introduction to Symposium, Negligence in Criminal Law and Morality.Kenneth W. Simons - 2011 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 5 (2):97-114.
    Doug Husak suggests that sometimes an actor should be deemed reckless, and not merely negligent, with respect to the risks that she knowingly created but has forgotten at the moment of action. The validity of this conclusion, he points out, depends crucially on what it means to be aware of a risk. Husak’s neutral prompt and counterfactual actual belief criteria are problematic, however. More persuasive is his suggestion that we understand belief, in this moral and criminal law context, as a (...)
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  2.  14
    Tort Negligence, Cost-Benefit Analysis and Tradeoffs: A Closer Look at the Controversy.Kenneth W. Simons - 2008 - Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 41 (4):1171-1224.
    What is the proper role of cost-benefit analysis in understanding the tort concept of negligence or reasonable care? A straightforward question, you might think. But it is a question that manages to elicit groans of exasperation from those on both sides of the controversy. For most utilitarians and adherents to law and economics, the answer is obvious: to say that people should not be negligent is to say that they should minimize the sum of the costs of accidents and the (...)
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  3.  17
    Dimensions of Negligence in Criminal and Tort Law.Kenneth W. Simons - 2002 - Theoretical Inquiries in Law 3 (2).
    This article explores different dimensions of the concept of negligence in the law. The first sections focus on the fundamental distinction between conduct negligence, a conception that dominates tort law; and cognitive negligence, a conception that is much more important in criminal law. The last major section identifies five significant institutional functions served by a legal negligence standard: expressing a legal norm in the form of a standard rather than a rule; personifying fault; empowering the trier of fact to give (...)
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  4.  31
    Negligence.Kenneth W. Simons - 1999 - Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (2):52.
    Negligence is both an important concept and an ambiguous one. Here I concentrate upon the sense of creating an unjustifiable, low-probability risk of future harm. This essay attempts to dispel theprevalent view that only a maximizing, utilitarian approach can render intelligible certain features of negligence analysis—its focus on the marginal advantages and disadvantages of the actor's taking a specific precaution, its consideration and balancing of the short-term effects of different actions, and its sensitivity to a multiplicity of factors. Perhaps certain (...)
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  5.  58
    Exploring the Intricacies of the Lesser Evils Defense.Kenneth W. Simons - 2005 - Law and Philosophy 24 (6):645-679.
    1. Comparing the weight of different evils is highly problematic; neither a positivist, interpretive account nor an exclusively aspirational account is satisfactory. 2. Alexander is correct that choosing a lesser evil is sometimes a mandate, not a mere permission, but the point has wider application than he indicates. 3. Is a choice of lesser but not least evil justifiable? Alexander’s affirmative answer is only partially convincing. 4. Alexander endorses a striking claim: the very notion of a reckless belief or reckless (...)
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  6.  19
    Negligence*: KENNETH W. SIMONS.Kenneth W. Simons - 1999 - Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (2):52-93.
    Faced with the choice between creating a risk of harm and taking a precaution against that risk, should I take the precaution? Does the proper analysis of this trade-off require a maximizing, utilitarian approach? If not, how does one properly analyze the trade-off? These questions are important, for we often are uncertain about the effects of our actions. Accordingly, we often must consider whether our actions create an unreasonable risk of injury — that is, whether our actions are negligent.
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  7.  16
    Is Strict Criminal Liability in the Grading of Offences Consistent with Retributive Desert?Kenneth W. Simons - 2012 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 32 (3):445-466.
    Notwithstanding the demands of retributive desert, strict criminal liability is sometimes defensible when the strict liability pertains, not to whether conduct is to be criminalized at all, but to the seriousness of the actor’s crime. Suppose an actor commits an intentional assault or rape, and accidentally brings about a death. Punishing the actor more seriously because the death resulted is sometimes justifiable, even absent proof of his independent culpability as to the death. But what punishment is proportionate for such an (...)
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  8.  48
    Book Review: Social Meaning, Retributivism, and Homicide. [REVIEW]Kenneth W. Simons - 2000 - Law and Philosophy 19 (3):407 - 429.
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  9.  22
    Punishment and Blame for Culpable Indifference.Kenneth W. Simons - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (2):143-167.
    In criminal law, the mental state of the defendant is a crucial determinant of the grade of crime that the defendant has committed and of whether the conduct is criminal at all. Under the widely accepted modern hierarchy of mental states, an actor is most culpable for causing harm purposely and progressively less culpable for doing so knowingly, recklessly, or negligently. Notably, this hierarchy emphasizes cognitive rather than conative mental states. But this emphasis, I argue, is often unjustified. When we (...)
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  10.  12
    Can Strict Criminal Liability for Responsible Corporate Officers Be Justified by the Duty to Use Extraordinary Care?Kenneth W. Simons - 2018 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 12 (3):439-454.
    The responsible corporate officer doctrine is, as a formal matter, an instance of strict criminal liability: the government need not prove the defendant’s mens rea in order to obtain a conviction, and the defendant may not escape conviction by proving lack of mens rea. Formal strict liability is sometimes consistent with retributive principles, especially when the strict liability pertains to the grading of an offense. But is strict liability consistent with retributive principles when it pertains, not to grading, but to (...)
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  11.  11
    Book Review: Social Meaning, Retributivism, and Homicide. [REVIEW]Kenneth W. Simons - 2000 - Law and Philosophy 19 (3):407-429.
    This review addresses how the criminal law of homicide would be reformulated if it expressed only nonconsequentialist principles. Special attention is given to aggravated and mitigated categories of murder, to difficulties with the author’s “social meaning” approach predicated on responsible choice, to whether aggravating factors for murder should be limited to heinous motives, and to the distinction between justification and excuse in the law of provocation.
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  12. Contributory Negligence: Conceptual and Normative Issues.Kenneth W. Simons - 1995 - In David G. Owen (ed.), Philosophical Foundations of Tort Law. Oxford University Press.
     
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  13. Hate Crime Laws.Kenneth W. Simons - 2019 - In Larry Alexander & Kimberly Kessler Ferzan (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law. Springer Verlag. pp. 285-311.
    This chapter reaches the following conclusions about laws that enhance punishment for criminal conduct prompted by group hatred or bias:Hatred should not be either a necessary or a sufficient condition for enhanced punishment.Enhanced punishment is justifiable when bias crimes display greater culpability, express disrespect for the victim’s group, or cause either greater psychic harm to the victim or group-specific outrage in the victim’s community.Properly designed bias crime laws do not improperly punish for thoughts or character.Such laws are more defensible if (...)
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