Premenstrual Syndrome, Mental Abnormality, and Legal Responsibility

  • Laurence D. Houlgate


I will leave questions of the specific definition and etiology of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to the many others in this volume directly addressing these concerns. Instead, in this chapter I will examine the philosophical questions that arise when it is suggested that PMS be introduced into legal proceedings. I will begin with a hypothetical case, contrived to illustrate the issues, and then proceed to explicate these in terms of actual legal precedents.


Mental Disease Hypothetical Case Legal Responsibility Premenstrual Syndrome Legal Liability 


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  1. Gross, H. , 1975. Mental abnormality as a criminal excuse. In J. Feinberg and H. Gross (Eds.), Philosophy of LawDickenson Publ. Co., Belmont, CA, pp. 466–476.Google Scholar
  2. Hart, H.L.A., 1968. Punishment and Responsibility Essays in the Philosophy of LawOxford University Press, New York, NY.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurence D. Houlgate
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA

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