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Friday, April 13, 2007

SU's Annual Philosophy Symposium Debates Capital Punishment April 21

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Philosophy Department tackles the ongoing moral debate “A Life for a Life: The Ethics of Capital Punishment,” during its 27th annual Philosophy Symposium 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in Caruthers Hall Auditorium.

Distinguished social and political philosopher Dr. Jeffrey Reiman, professor at American University, is this year’s speaker.

In their 1998 book The Death Penalty: For and Against, Reiman and fellow philosopher, the late Louis Pojman, argue whether or not society is morally obligated to execute murderers. In his talk at the symposium, Reiman presents both sides of the argument before giving his own views. A panel consisting of philosophy alumni and faculty will respond to his presentation.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Reiman earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University. He was a Fulbright Scholar in India from 1966-67, and in 1970 joined the faculty of American University, where he is the William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy.

In addition to his book on the death penalty, Reiman has authored a number of books on moral and political issues. He has also written more than 50 articles in philosophy and criminal justice journals and anthologies.

“The issue of capital punishment has been on the front pages lately due to the emergence of DNA analysis and the reconsideration of the death penalty in the Maryland and other state legislatures,” said Dr. Francis Kane of SU’s Philosophy Department. “In the tradition of the symposium, we wanted to bring a thoughtful moral perspective to a very controversial issue.”

The event begins with a continental breakfast at 9:30 a.m., followed by Reiman’s address at 10 a.m. After the panel response, the symposium will break for lunch before its traditional afternoon “free for all,” Kane said.

Sponsored by the SU Philosophical Society, the Bellavance Honors Program and the Fulton School of Liberal Arts, the symposium is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at


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