Published on 4/5/2022

​The Philosophy Program at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies organized a lecture on "Moral Modernity and Criminal Modernity through Kant's Punishment Theory" on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, presented by Ezz Al-Arab Lhakim Bennani, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sidi Mohamed bin Abdullah in Fez, Morocco. Professor Ezz Al-Arab attempted to show how criminal law, derived from modern Kantian philosophy, welcomed Foucault's criticisms of the institution of punishment. He pointed out that the modern philosophy of punishment has abandoned the search for "radical evil" from a metaphysical angle, and contented itself with establishing legal rules for the prevention of crime within the "society of evil people", and through Kant, it replaced moral rules with legal rules and moral philosophy with political philosophy. Bennani tried to highlight the importance of this perception, thanks to the rejection of torture and the invocation of human rights, clarifying the limits of the Kantian conception in the light of the developments in the philosophy of morality in its relationship to the law.

For his part, Dr. Mounir Al-Kasho, Professor of Philosophy at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, said that this lecture falls within the political philosophy seminar of the Philosophy Program at the institute, whose topic this year is sovereignty and legitimacy in the modern state. He pointed out that the topic of the lecture relates to an important aspect of political modernity, which is criminal modernity, and added that humanity in the modern era has replaced the concept of absolute evil that inhabits some people with the concept of criminal evil, which, as stated in the lecture summary, "binds condemnation with precise moral justifications." These moral justifications include any justifications which are acceptable from the point of view of the general morals of modern societies and the sense of the modern man. Of course, these transformations had an impact not only on the legal and political level but on the philosophical level, as discussions and debates emerged among philosophers about the optimal criminal system that protects society from crime and at the same time preserves human dignity.