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Philosophical Foundations of Law and Neuroscience$
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Dennis Patterson and Michael S. Pardo

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743095

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743095.001.0001

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Introduction to Philosophical Foundations of Law and Neuroscience

Introduction to Philosophical Foundations of Law and Neuroscience

(p.1) Introduction to Philosophical Foundations of Law and Neuroscience
Philosophical Foundations of Law and Neuroscience

Dennis Patterson

Michael S. Pardo

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter is an overview on the theory and applications of both the fields of law and neuroscience—‘neurolaw’. It shows how the rapid expansion of neurolaw follows from two claims: that neuroscience provides powerful new evidence about the brain, the mind, and human action; and that this evidence is relevant and highly probative for issues throughout the law. To the extent neuroscientific evidence reveals insights about the mind, decision making, and human behaviour, these insights may provide useful information for explaining, justifying, critiquing, or improving the law’s efficacy and applications in any of its domains. Notwithstanding this broad potential reach, it is not surprising that much of the focus of neurolaw to date has been on criminal law. Accordingly, the chapter provides a framework for categorizing the various claims and arguments about how neuroscience may apply to a legal issue: proof, doctrine, and theory.

Keywords:   neurolaw, neuroscience, criminal law, neuroscientific evidence, legal applications

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