Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility
Nicole A Vincent
OUP USA, Mar 7, 2013 - Law - 395 pages
How should neuroscience, psychology and behavioral genetics impact legal responsibility practices? Recent findings from these fields are sometimes claimed to threaten the moral foundations of legal responsibility practices by revealing that determinism, or something like it, is true. On this account legal responsibility practices should be abolished because there is no room for such outmoded fictions as responsibility in an enlightened and scientifically-informed approach to the regulation of society. However, the chapters in this volume reject this claim and its related agenda of radical legal reform. Embracing instead a broadly compatibilist approach - one according to which responsibility hinges on psychological features of agents not on metaphysical features of the universe - this volume's authors demonstrate that the behavioral and mind sciences may impact legal responsibility practices in a range of different ways, for instance: by providing fresh insight into the nature of normal and pathological human agency, by offering updated medical and legal criteria for forensic practitioners as well as powerful new diagnostic and intervention tools and techniques with which to appraise and to alter minds, and by raising novel regulatory challenges. Science and law have been locked in a philosophical dialogue on the nature of human agency ever since the 13th century when a mental element was added to the criteria for legal responsibility. The rich story told by the 14 essays in this volume testifies that far from ending this philosophical dialogue, neuroscience, psychology and behavioral genetics have the potential to further enrich and extend this dialogue.
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actions addiction treatment amygdala argue argument assessments awareness thesis behavior beliefs beneﬁts Bias Research blame brain capacity-responsibility causal caused claim coerced cognitive enhancement compatibilism compatibilist concepts concerning conﬂict conscious context crime criminal law criminal responsibility criteria culpability Dawkins decision defendant deﬁned deﬁnition determine discussion drug courts Ethics evaluative example excuse expect fact ﬁnd ﬁrst folk psychology function harm Heyman human hypercapacity implicit attitudes individuals inﬂuence insanity insanity defense judgment justiﬁcation law’s legal responsibility manipulated agents mens rea mental capacity mental disease mental illness methadone mind Model Penal Code moral agency moral responsibility Morse naltrexone neural Neuroethics neuroimaging neuroscience neuroscientiﬁc evidence norms offenders ofthe one’s opioid Oxford University Press patients pedophilia pedophilic philosophical practices principle processes Psychiatry psychological psychopathy punishment question rationality reasonable person standard reﬂect relevant responsibility tracks role scientiﬁc sexual signiﬁcant Sinnott-Armstrong social speciﬁc theoretical theory tion Vincent voluntary