Kenneth W. Simons
The Honorable Frank R. Kenison Distinguished Scholar in Law
Interests: torts; criminal law; constitutional law; moral and political philosophy
Kenneth Simons has been a member of the BU Law faculty since 1982. He has taught criminal law, torts, constitutional law and seminars on the topics of justice and rights, the philosophy of punishment and the idea of equality. "Legal doctrine is a fascinating combination of the practical and the theoretical," he says. "Do we punish murderers because they deserve it, or because this will prevent future murders? A good lawyer must have the analytical tools to answer this type of question. In this spirit, I try to help students master both the analytical and the philosophical dimensions of law."
Professor Simons is a leading scholar on the topic of assumption of risk in tort law, and he has published an influential series of articles concerning the nature and role of mental states in criminal, tort and constitutional law. He also has explored such topics as bias crimes, contributory negligence, corrective justice, the logic of egalitarian norms, mistake and impossibility in criminal law, negligence as a moral and legal concept and strict criminal liability.
Professor Simons has been a visiting professor at Michigan Law School and a clerk for Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court.