Philosophical Foundations of Law and Neuroscience

40 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2009 Last revised: 26 Dec 2013

Michael S. Pardo

University of Alabama School of Law

Dennis Patterson

European University Institute; Rutgers University School of Law, Camden; Swansea University School of Law; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Date Written: February 6, 2009

Abstract

According to a wide variety of scholars, scientists, and policymakers, neuroscience promises to transform law. Many neurolegalists - those championing the power of neuroscience for law - proceed from problematic premises regarding the relationship of mind to brain. In this Article, we make the case that their accounts of the nature of mind are implausible and that their conclusions are overblown. Thus, their claims of the power of neuroscience for law cannot be sustained. We discuss a wide array of examples including lie detection, criminal-law doctrine, economic decision-making, moral decision-making, and jurisprudence.

Keywords: Neuroscience, fMRI, Mind, Brain, Mereological Fallacy, Lie Detection, Deception, Voluntariness, Intent, Knowledge, Economic Decision-Making, Moral Decision-Making, Jurisprudence, Legal Decision-Making

Suggested Citation

Pardo, Michael S. and Patterson, Dennis, Philosophical Foundations of Law and Neuroscience (February 6, 2009). University of Illinois Law Review, 2010; U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1338763. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1338763 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1338763

Michael S. Pardo (Contact Author)

University of Alabama School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Dennis Patterson

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

Rutgers University School of Law, Camden ( email )

Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
856-225-6369 (Phone)
856-751-8752 (Fax)

Swansea University School of Law

Singleton Park
Swansea, SA2 8PP
United Kingdom

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via Boccaccio 121 (Villa Schifanoia)
I-50122 Firenze
ITALY

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