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From the Publisher"A thought-provoking and engaging look at one of the oldest questions in morality and law - what is the point of punishment? With advances in the biological study of human nature, increased awareness of long-term historical progress in our attitudes toward retribution, and new concerns about current incarceration practices, this is an especially timely and important book."
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Blank Slate and The Better Angels of Our Nature
"This is a work of exceptional scholarship from an active trial judge who has combined his experiences on the bench with a remarkable review and analysis of how punishment decisions have evolved historically."
Marcus E. Raichle, Professor of Radiology, Neurology, Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, and winner of the 2014 Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize
"Morris Hoffman’s fascinating exploration of the intersection of criminal law and biology will inform and provoke. It is a tour de force of speculative, interdisciplinary scholarship."
Stephen J. Morse, Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law, Professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry, and Associate Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Society, University of Pennsylvania
"Using cases from Judge Hoffman's courtroom and the latest scientific findings, this riveting book provides a rich evolutionary explanation not only for good and evil, but also for our fascination with courts and criminals. The Punisher's Brain is a must-read for anyone interested in crime and punishment and why societies flourish or fail."
Paul J. Zak, Professor of Economics and founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, and author of The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity
"Judge Hoffman offers an insightful and surprising analysis of punishment and who decides on it, why, and how."
Lionel Tiger, Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, Rutgers University, and author of The Imperial Animal and God’s Brain
"The Punisher’s Brain is erudite, engaging, wide-ranging, and eminently readable. It updates generations of thought - about why and how we punish - with new perspectives informed by biology and psychology."
Owen D. Jones, New York Alumni Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Professor of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University; Director, MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience
"The Punisher’s Brain is lucid, clever, and a delight to read. Judge Hoffman draws on evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, English legal history, and - often most engagingly - his own experiences on the bench to guide the reader on a compelling tour of our punishing instincts."
Francis X. Shen, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Law School and Executive Director of Education and Outreach, MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience