This seminar explores several fundamental issues in the theory of criminal law using literary examples and insights. The first topic is the question of what should be criminalized; the question of when a private act becomes a matter of urgent public concern. Secondly, we assess the adequacy of the legal picture of the human mind and experience, using what we know about the complexity of psychological states. We also consider ethics in the context of trial practice and modes of punishment. Among the authors included in the course are Camus, Hawthorne, Kafka, and Burgess.