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Law, Responsibility, and the Brain

Mobbs, Dean and Lau, Hakwan C. and Jones, Owen D. and Frith, Christopher D. (2007) Law, Responsibility, and the Brain. PLoS Biology, 5 (4). Art. No. e103. ISSN 1545-7885. PMCID PMC1852146. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050103.

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Archaeological discoveries of traumatic injuries in primitive hominid skulls strongly hint that our species has a long history of violence [1]. Despite repeated attempts throughout history, including efforts to eliminate violence through the imposition of criminal sanctions, we have yet to dispel our violent nature. Consequently, criminal violence remains a common feature of most societies. As policy-makers seek deeper understandings of criminally violent and anti-social behaviour, many contemporary neuroscientists assume that the essential ingredients of the human condition, including free will, empathy, and morality, are the calculable consequences of an immense assembly of neurons firing. Intuitively, this view opposes Cartesian dualism (i.e., the brain and mind are separate, but interacting, entities) and assumes that violence and antisocial behaviour emanate from a mechanistically determined brain (see Box 1).

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Mobbs, Dean0000-0003-1175-3772
Additional Information:© 2007 Mobbs et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. We thank Cindy C. Hagan, John Monaghan, and Joshua Buckholtz for their helpful comments.
Issue or Number:4
PubMed Central ID:PMC1852146
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180302-153342815
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Official Citation:Mobbs D, Lau HC, Jones OD, Frith CD (2007) Law, Responsibility, and the Brain. PLoS Biol 5(4): e103.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85079
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Mar 2018 22:00
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:25

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