Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Timothy M. Costelloe

Committee Members

Alan Fuchs

Michael Green


I examine the underpinnings of the criminal law in "harm" and "offense," focusing on work by Feinberg, Rawls, and Mill. My thesis continues the theoretical discussion on "harm" and "offense" as the two bases for establishing the boundaries of legitimate criminal law. Specifically, I introduce a new corollary - the harmful-offense principle - that attempts to explain the relationship of the seemingly-disparate concepts of harm and offense. To demonstrate this principle's practical and theoretical usefulness, I apply the concept of "harmful offense" to a case study of Supreme Court rulings on recent child pornography that overturned a Congressional ban on the new wave of virtual child pornography.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only