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Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility$
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Nicole A. Vincent

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199925605

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199925605.001.0001

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Law and NeuroscienceHistorical Context 1

Law and NeuroscienceHistorical Context 1

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Law and NeuroscienceHistorical Context1
Source:
Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility
Author(s):

Nicole A Vincent

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199925605.003.0001

This volume investigates the question of whether, and if so how, advances in the mind sciences – chiefly in neuroscience, psychology and behavioural genetics – impact on the moral foundations of legal responsibility practices. This introductory chapter does three things. First, it sets aside the radical claim that findings from the mind sciences challenge responsibility by revealing that something like determinism is true. Second, motivated by historical reflection, it adopts a modest and broadly compatibilist stance, arguing that advances in the mind sciences may impact on legal responsibility practices by providing further insights into the nature of human agency, and by offering revamped diagnostic criteria and more powerful diagnostic and intervention tools with which to appraise and to alter minds. Third, it provides an overview of the other thirteen chapters which have been arranged under five headings: responsibility and mental capacity; reappraising agency; responsibility assessment; disease and disorder; and modification of minds.

Keywords:   responsibility, law, compatibilism, capacitarianism, neurolaw, neuroscience, genetics, psychology, enhancement, addiction

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