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Zachary Hoskins

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I joined the University of Nottingham in 2014. Previously, I was a research fellow for three years in the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, at the University of Minnesota. There my research focused on normative issues underlying the criminal law, especially the permissibility of collateral restrictions on offenders.

I earned my Ph.D. in 2011 from Washington University in St. Louis, in Missouri. My dissertation examined the justification of punishment, and I have since published a number of articles on this topic.

Teaching Summary

I teach generally in moral, political, and legal philosophy. Previously I have taught Philosophy of Criminal Law, Political Philosophy, Biomedical Ethics, Applied Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Social… read more

Research Summary

My current research is in the philosophy of the criminal law. I am focusing on collateral restrictions on those with criminal records. It is well-known that people convicted of crimes may be subject… read more

I teach generally in moral, political, and legal philosophy. Previously I have taught Philosophy of Criminal Law, Political Philosophy, Biomedical Ethics, Applied Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Social Philosophy, Introduction to Human Rights, Philosophy of Punishment, Ethics in the Media, and Great Philosophers.

Current Research

My current research is in the philosophy of the criminal law. I am focusing on collateral restrictions on those with criminal records. It is well-known that people convicted of crimes may be subject to punishment (incarceration, fines, community service, etc.); what is less well-known is that these people also face a host of other 'collateral' legal restrictions, on housing, employment, the vote, public assistance, and other goods. My interest is in whether, when, and why these collateral restrictions are morally justified. After all, if it is through punishment that offenders 'pay their debts' to society, then what justifies the state in imposing additional burdens that extend beyond the scope and duration of punishment itself? My paper 'Ex-offender Restrictions' is in the February 2014 issue of Journal of Applied Philosophy, and I am now working on a book on this topic for Oxford University Press.

Future Research

I am generally interested in moral, political, and legal philosophy. Beyond my current research on collateral restrictions, I am interested in other normative questions underlying the criminal law and punishment. In particular, I am interested in the use of the criminal law and punishment at the international level, as a response to genocide and other mass crimes. Such crimes are often said to be committed by groups, rather than by individuals, but the prosecution and punishment of groups as groups raises normative questions about the role of individuals within group endeavours. The worry is that some members of the group may not have been responsible, or may have been at least less responsible, for the wrongdoing. Thus punishing groups as groups risks subjecting innocent (or less culpable) members of the group to guilt by association.

Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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