Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University

Erin Kelly grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. She earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy from Stanford University; in further pursuit of philosophy, she then went to Columbia University for graduate study before moving to Harvard University, where she earned her PhD. Her research interests are in moral and political philosophy and the philosophy of law, with a focus on questions about justice. She has developed a particular emphasis on criminal law, moral responsibility and desert, and theories of punishment. Her current work aims, among other things, to develop philosophical conceptions of reparative and transformative justice as alternatives to retributive accounts of punishment. Currently (Spring 2021) she is Sullivan & Cromwell Visiting Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School, where she is teaching criminal law. She has a non-academic interest in music, film, the outdoors, and two teenage daughters.

Photo by Alisa Schultz

Research Areas

  • Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Ethics
  • Criminal Justice

Read New Yorker excerpt here.