Northwestern Events Calendar


Northwestern University's Department of Philosophy presents Audrey Yap

When: Friday, February 3, 2023
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Emily Berry   (847) 491-3656

Group: Philosophy Colloquium Series

Category: Academic


"Letting Go of Heroes and Villains: Crime Media, Reactive Attitudes, and Personhood"


Police procedurals and reality TV like Cops have been media staples for a long time. And while true crime as a genre isn’t new, it has seen a recent surge in popularity, particularly after the release of the podcast series Serial. This paper will consider the ways that we construct coherent narratives of crime and wrongdoing with characters that play relatively well-defined roles, like heroes, victims, and villains. While of course portrayals are not necessarily endorsements, we argue that these kinds of portrayals are bound up with dichotomies that reinforce carceral ideology. In order to make these arguments we’ll draw on a range of philosophical frameworks. First, we’ll draw on Strawson’s account of reactive attitudes and Lindemann’s account of personal identity to argue that these portrayals reflect neither the agency of wrongdoers nor the full moral personhood of most of the parties involved.


Contact Emily Berry ( for more information

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