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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1595363
 
 

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A Core of Agreement


Donald Braman


George Washington University - Law School; Cultural Cognition Project

Dan M. Kahan


Yale University - Law School; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

David A. Hoffman


Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law; Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School

April 24, 2010

University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 77, p. 1655, 2010

Abstract:     
In this short comment, we respond to papers by Robinson, Kurzban, and Jones (RKJ) and by Darley, who replied to our paper, Punishment Naturalism. We align ourselves wholeheartedly with Darley’s argument that intuitions of criminal wrongdoing, while mediated by cognitive mechanisms that are largely universal, consist in evaluations that vary significantly across cultural groups. RKJ defend their finding of “universal” intuitions of “core” of criminal wrongdoing. They acknowledge, however, that their method for identifying the core excludes by design factors that predictably generate cultural variance in what behavior counts as murder, rape, theft and other “core” offenses. On this basis, we reiterate our claim that RKJ’s finding of such a “core” - while of considerable academic interest - does not have any normative or prescriptive upshot for debates about issues at the core of political contention and law-reform efforts in criminal justice - including important ones over the definitions of rape, homicide, domestic violence, and fraud.

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Date posted: April 25, 2010 ; Last revised: April 16, 2013

Suggested Citation

Braman, Donald and Kahan, Dan M. and Hoffman, David A., A Core of Agreement (April 24, 2010). University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 77, p. 1655, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1595363

Contact Information

Donald Braman
George Washington University - Law School ( email )
2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
Cultural Cognition Project ( email )
2000 H St NW
2000 H Street
Washington, DC 20052 20052
United States
202-491-8843 (Phone)
202 491-8843 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalcognition.net/braman
Dan M. Kahan (Contact Author)
Yale University - Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalcognition.net/kahan
Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David A. Hoffman
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-0612 (Phone)
Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School
127 Wall St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
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