Responsibility and the Brain Sciences
Ethical Theory and Practice, Vol. 12, No. 5, 511-524.
Felipe De Brigard, Eric Mandelbaum, David Ripley
Some theorists think that the more we get to know about the neural
underpinnings of our behaviors, the less likely we will be to hold
people responsible for their actions. This intuition has driven some to
suspect that as neuroscience gains insight into the neurological causes
of our actions, people will cease to view others as morally responsible
for their actions, thus creating a troubling quandary for our legal
system. This paper provides empirical evidence against such intuitions.
Particularly, our studies of folk intuitions suggest that (1) when the
causes of an action are described in neurological terms, they are not
found to be any more exculpatory than when described in psychological
terms, and (2) agents are not held fully responsible even for actions
that are fully neurologically caused.
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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Friday, January 15, 2010