Minds, Brains, and Norms
25 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2009
Date Written: July 10, 2009
Arguments for the importance of neuroscience reach across many disciplines. Advocates of neuroscience have made wide-ranging claims for neuroscience in the realms of ethics, value, and law. In law, for example, many scholars have argued for an increased role for neuroscientific evidence in the assessment of criminal responsibility. In this article, we take up claims for the explanatory role of neuroscience in matters of morals and law. Drawing on our previous work together, we assess the cogency of neuroscientific explanations of three issues that arise in these domains: rule following, interpretation, and knowledge. We critique these explanations and in general challenge claims as to the efficacy of the neuroscientific accounts.
Keywords: rule following, interpretation, knowledge, ethics, morals, mens rea, insanity, lie detection, deception
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