Amelia M. Wirts, Esq
Assistant Professor of Philosophy University of Washington
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers or They/Their/Theirs
I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Washington in Seattle, where I work on philosophy of law and theories of oppression.
My current research advances the claim that the American criminal legal system should be seen as an oppressive institution that reinforces class, race, and gender oppression as well as introducing new forms of unjust, group-based oppression. I argue that philosophers of punishment have not paid sufficient attention to the ways that the expressive nature of punishment interacts with existing social messages, so that the often cited virtues of the expressive function of punishment are undermined. I also argue that the fact of this oppression must be taken into account by those struggling against other kinds of oppression, including misogyny. Thus, those who seek to eliminate violence against women must take extra care when using the criminal justice system to do their work.
I am also a graduate of Boston College Law School (2017) and a member of the Massachusetts bar (2018). I pursued my law degree as a part of a dual degree program in philosophy and law at Boston College, and I focused on civil rights and discrimination throughout my time there. I also spent 2017-2018 clerking for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Albuquerque, New Mexico..
For more on my work, please see my cv.