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The Philosophy of PsychiatryA Companion$
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Jennifer Radden

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195149531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149531.001.0001

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Criminal Responsibility

Criminal Responsibility

Chapter:
(p.296) Chapter 20 CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY
Source:
The Philosophy of Psychiatry
Author(s):
Jennifer Radden
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149531.003.0022

This chapter examines the relationship between criminal responsibility and mental disorders. It reviews the legal evolution of the concepts of criminal responsibility and mental excuses. It considers the realist, antirealist, and psychiatric/pragmatic approaches to criminal responsibility. It argues that psychiatrists involved in the assessment of responsibility seem to move between physical and intentional explanations for “bad” intentions. The physical fits more easily with the medical role but may not do justice to the claims of social processes. The intentional stance may fit better with a psychological approach to choices but may make it impossible for psychiatrists to avoid making moral judgments in the courtroom.

Keywords:   mental disorders, intentions, mental excuses, realist, antirealist, psychiatric approach

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