Vincent on the Relevance of Neuroscience to Criminal Responsibility

Dr. Nicole A. Vincent of the Delft University of Technology Philosophy Department, has published On the Relevance of Neuroscience to Criminal Responsibility, forthcoming in Criminal Law and Philosophy. Here is the abstract:

“Various authors debate the question of whether neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility. However, a plethora of different techniques and technologies, each with their own abilities and drawbacks, lurks beneath the label ‘neuroscience’; and in criminal law responsibility is not a single, unitary and generic concept, but it is rather a syndrome of at least six different concepts. Consequently, there are at least six different responsibility questions that the criminal law asks—at least one for each responsibility concept—and, I will suggest, a multitude of ways in which the techniques and technologies that comprise neuroscience might help us to address those diverse questions. In a way, on my account neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility in many ways, but I hesitate to state my position like this because doing so obscures two points which I would rather highlight: one, neither neuroscience nor criminal responsibility are as unified as that; and two, the criminal law asks many different responsibility questions and not just one generic question.”

HT Law & Neuroscience Blog.

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