Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Future of Punishment$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Thomas A. Nadelhoffer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199779208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779208.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 October 2017

Cognitive Neuroscience, Moral Responsibility, and Punishment

Cognitive Neuroscience, Moral Responsibility, and Punishment

Chapter:
(p.155) 7 Cognitive Neuroscience, Moral Responsibility, and Punishment
Source:
The Future of Punishment
Author(s):

Nancey Murphy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199779208.003.0007

This chapter addresses the worry that contemporary findings in the cognitive neurosciences call moral and legal responsibility into question. I first focus on the question of whether and how science helps explain, and thereby justify, belief in responsibility, using Alasdair MacIntyre's account of morally responsible action. It may be expressed as follows: one is capable of moral responsibility if one has the capacity to evaluate that which moves one to act in light of some concept of the good. The central focus of the chapter, then, is a cognitive-science analysis of the intellectual and affective capacities that enable morally responsible action, with brief mention of neural systems and structures that are taken to subserve these capacities. On the basis of this analysis, I address briefly some of the arguments from neuroscience (by Benjamin Libet and John-Dylan Haynes) that are taken to call free will into question. Finally, I consider the implications of the chapter for the role of punishment, arguing that a restorative rather than retributive justice system has great potential for enhancing moral (and therefore legal) responsibility.

Keywords:   free will, responsibility, neuroscience, retributivism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .