Minds, Brains, and Norms

25 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2009

See all articles by Michael S. Pardo

Michael S. Pardo

Georgetown University Law Center

Dennis Patterson

Rutgers University School of Law, Camden; University of Surrey - School of Law

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

Suggested Citation

Pardo, Michael S. and Patterson, Dennis, Minds, Brains, and Norms (July 10, 2009). Neuroethics, Forthcoming, University of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1432476, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1432476

Michael S. Pardo (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/michael-s-pardo/

Dennis Patterson

Rutgers University School of Law, Camden ( email )

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

University of Surrey - School of Law ( email )

United Kingdom

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