Jurriën Hamer / Jurriën Hamer – Why Bad Guys Have Bad Luck

Jurriën Hamer – Why Bad Guys Have Bad Luck

Jurriën Hamer – Why Bad Guys Have Bad Luck

Winner of the Socrates Cup Prize 2022

About the book

Does a millionaire have the right to be rich? Should we forgive even a murderer? And can a person ever change their fate? It all depends on our answer to a fundamental question: do we have free will?

For centuries now philosophers have had their doubts as to the answer, and for decades biologists and neurologists have been declaring that free will does not exist. Each year the stack of evidence against free will grows taller: we are a product of our genes, of our history and of our circumstances. And yet we cannot let free will go. This myth has more influence today than ever – in our criminal justice system, our economy and our quest for happiness.

Jurriën Hamer thinks further where others shy away and calls into question the role of free will. Why Bad Guys Have Bad Luck is a confronting debut with radical implications for the way we live – from our politics to our most intimate relationships.

This book is a provocation, a challenge, a task for us all. It grabs hold of you and doesn’t let you go. Jurriën Hamer shows that serious philosophy doesn’t make life easier, but more difficult. Read this book at your own risk, because once you’ve read it you will never be able to unread it again.
– Rutger Bregman

Jurriën Hamer does what I think a philosopher in our times should do: write in a way that is socially relevant, clearly formulated and well-founded. It might be possible to not always agree with him. It is impossible not to reflect for yourself while reading this book.
– Dirk De Wachter


Jurriën Hamer (b. 1988) is a philosopher and jurist. He obtained his doctorate from Utrecht University and has done research at the London School of Economics. Why Bad Guys Have Bad Luck is his debut.

© Frank Ruiter

Additional book information

  • Philosophy
  • ISBN 9789403120119
  • Number of pages: 176
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €21,99