Criminal Law and Philosophy

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 477–498 | Cite as

A Compatibilist Theory of Legal Responsibility

Original Paper

Abstract

Philosophical compatibilism reconciles moral responsibility with determinism, and some neurolaw scholars think that it can also reconcile legal views about responsibility with scientific findings about the neurophysiological basis of human action. Although I too am a compatibilist, this paper argues that philosophical compatibilism cannot be transplanted “as-is” from philosophy into law. Rather, before compatibilism can be re-deployed, it must first be modified to take account of differences between legal and moral responsibility, and between a scientific and a deterministic world view, and to address a range of conceptual, normative, empirical and doctrinal problems that orbit its capacitarian core.

Keywords

Neurolaw Responsibility Compatibilism Capacitarianism Character Science Determinism Free will 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Technische Universiteit DelftDelftThe Netherlands

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