BEING HUMAN Conversation


6:30 – 7:30pm AEDT


Limited seats in person
The Ethics Centre
Level 1, 161 Castlereagh St
Sydney, 2000



Tickets are no longer on sale for this event

Human beings have an unbroken history of punishing transgressors. They have been variously: banished, ostracised, mutilated, imprisoned or killed – often with as much brutality as human imagination can conceive.

What purposes has this served? Are there more or less ethical forms of punishment? Is the suffering of one a cost worth bearing if it is for the good of a whole? What if free-will is an illusion – is all punishment unjust if the wicked were destined to do wrong? 

Join us to explore these sticky questions and more in The Ethics of Punishment. Led by Dr Simon Longstaff and accompanied by special guest artist, the acclaimed performer Paul Capsis, this interactive session will explore the place of punishment in our society. 

This event is part of a series which includes ‘The Ethics of Protest’ on Thursday 2 March. See both events for $20 livestream or $60 in person. 

Event live stream will be available to watch on demand for up to 14 days post-event.  

About 'The Ethics Of...'

‘The Ethics of…’ is an event series where we freely examine the experiences, hopes and challenges that make us truly human; from the good to the bad and everything in between. Each event is an intimate conversation, led by a philosopher, with opportunities for the audience to share their experiences, views and learn from each other. Join us for this important and interactive event, held both in person and livestreamed, about the ways we connect with each other.


Dr Simon Longstaff AO

Dr Simon Longstaff began his working life on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory of Australia. He is proud of his kinship ties to the Anindilyakwa people. After a period studying law in Sydney and teaching in Tasmania, he pursued postgraduate studies as a Member of Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1991, Simon commenced his work as the first Executive Director of The Ethics Centre. In 2013, he was made an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to the community through the promotion of ethical standards in governance and business, to improving corporate responsibility, and to philosophy.” Simon is an Adjunct Professor of the Australian Graduate School of Management at UNSW, a Fellow of CPA Australia, the Royal Society of NSW and the Australian Risk Policy Institute. 

Guest Artist

Paul Capsis

Paul Capsis is one of Australia’s most extraordinary and versatile performers. His extensive career has included theatre, live concerts, cabaret, television, and film. Paul has worked with many leading Australian theatre companies (STC, MTC, Malthouse Theatre, STCSA, and Company B Belvoir) and has performed in Vienna, Valletta, Hong Kong, London, Edinburgh, and New York. Paul has also appeared in a variety of television shows and has performed on Q&A, My Favourite Album, In Siberia Tonight, The Sideshow, Sunday Arts, Spicks and Specks, Studio A with Simon Burke, Mornings with Kerry Anne, and was a guest presenter for the ABC’s Art Nation. More recently he has featured in the critically acclaimed miniseries Deep Water for SBS and Black Fella Films. Last year Paul performed in the Victorian Opera’s production of The Who’s Tommy and the Perth International Cabaret Festival.