Responsible Brains: Neuroscience, Law, and Human Culpability

Responsible Brains: Neuroscience, Law, and Human Culpability

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262038782
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation (MIT Press).

Katrina L. Sifferd is Professor of Philosophy at Elmhurst College.

Tyler K. Fagan is Lecturer in Philosophy at Elmhurst College.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction 1

2 The Science of Executive Processes 17

3 Moral Responsibility 43

4 Criminal Responsibility 71

5 Consciousness versus the Executive Processes 91

6 Judgments and Claims of Responsibility 115

7 Responsible Lives, Responsible Acts 133

8 Responsibility under Development 155

9 Responsibility, Capacity, and Insanity 177

10 Blame, Desert, and Punishment 199

11 Epilogue 227

Notes 237

References 253

Name Index 283

Subject Index 287

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Hirstein, Sifferd, and Fagan bring responsibility into closer contact with neuroscience than ever before. Their bold, original, and provocative theory is backed by forceful philosophical argument combined with detailed knowledge of the brain, and they deploy it to illuminate numerous controversial cases. Everyone interested in these important issues should carefully study this tour de force. ”

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong , Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics, Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University“This is a superb book. It articulates and defends an attractive, scientifically informed theory of responsibility. It instructively applies that theory to such issues as juvenile responsibility, legal insanity, the culpability of psychopaths, and grounds for punishment. And it is written in highly accessible prose. Responsible Brains is a gem that will appeal to a broad audience, including readers primarily concerned with the practical aspects of moral and legal responsibility and those who approach the topic from a largely theoretical perspective. ”

Alfred R. Mele , William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University“Neuroscientists, the general public and some philosophers have worried that neuroscience will show that we cannot be morally responsible for our behavior. In this groundbreaking book, William Hirstein, Katrina Sifferd, and Tyler Fagan present a compelling case for thinking that neuroscience can help to underwrite moral responsibility, as well as to enable us to distinguish responsible agents from those who cannot be held responsible. It is required reading for philosophers, lawyers, and anyone interested in contemporary brain science, agency and what it means to be human. ”

Neil Levy , Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University, and Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford“ Responsible Brains is necessary reading for anyone interested in the relation between responsibility (moral and legal) and current brain science. Drawing heavily on contemporary empirical research on the brain, the authors defend the view that what matters most is a particular set of psychological functions that can be neurologically identified (so-called "executive function"). While there is much I disagree with in the book, it stakes out a clear and positive position worth engaging with and learning from, and, as far as I know, it is the most comprehensive empirically-informed account of (legal) responsibility currently on offer. ”

Matt King , Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Endorsement

Responsible Brains is necessary reading for anyone interested in the relation between responsibility (moral and legal) and current brain science. Drawing heavily on contemporary empirical research on the brain, the authors defend the view that what matters most is a particular set of psychological functions that can be neurologically identified (so-called "executive function"). While there is much I disagree with in the book, it stakes out a clear and positive position worth engaging with and learning from, and, as far as I know, it is the most comprehensive empirically-informed account of (legal) responsibility currently on offer.”

Matt King, Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham

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