CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vincent on the Normative Authority of the Mind Sciences

Vincent micole Nicole A. Vincent (Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University) has posted Legal Responsibility Adjudication and the Normative Authority of the Mind Sciences (Philosophical Explorations, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 315-331, 2011) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In the field of ‘neurolaw’, reformists claim that recent scientific discoveries from the mind sciences have serious ramifications for how legal responsibility should be adjudicated, but conservatives deny that this is so. In contrast, I criticise both of these polar opposite positions by arguing that although scientific findings can have often – weighty normative significance, they lack the normative authority with which reformists often imbue them. After explaining why conservatives and reformists are both wrong, I then offer my own moderate suggestions about what views we have reason to endorse. My moderate position reflects the familiar capacitarian idea which underlies much lay, legal, and philosophical thinking about responsibility – namely, that responsibility tracks mental capacity.

| Permalink


Post a comment