Dead Certainty: The Death Penalty and the Problem of Judgment

Dead Certainty is about the challenge of judging matters of public concern without a common sense of the good or other shared criteria that validate final decisions. Examining both the philosophical and the practical aspects of this challenge, this book focuses on United States Supreme Court opinions that authorize and regulate the practice of sentencing people to death. Unlike other books that discuss capital punishment, it does not argue for or against the death penalty. Instead, Dead Certainty contributes to a larger project in contemporary political and legal philosophy: re-imagining how people in today’s world give coherence and meaning to their shared experience. Culbert’s work will be of interest to scholars of political theory, jurisprudence, law and society, rhetoric, continental philosophy, and ethics.