The Situationist

The Neuro-Situation of Responsibility

Posted by The Situationist Staff on February 27, 2010

Nicole Vincent recently posted her interesting paper, “Neuroimaging and Responsibility Assessments” on SSRN.  Here’s the abstract.

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Could neuroimaging evidence help us to assess the degree of a person’s responsibility for a crime which we know that they committed? This essay defends an affirmative answer to this question. A range of standard objections to this high-tech approach to assessing people’s responsibility is considered and then set aside, but I also bring to light and then reject a novel objection — an objection which is only encountered when functional (rather than structural) neuroimaging is used to assess people’s responsibility.

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Download the paper for free here.   To read a sample of related Situationist posts see, Your Brain and Morality,” “Law & the Brain, The Science of Morality,” “Attributing Blame — from the Baseball Diamond to the War on Terror,” “David Vitter, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, Jon Ensign, and Now Mark Sanford: The Disposition Is Weaker than the Situation,” and “The Need for a Situationist Morality.”

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