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Law and NeuroscienceCurrent Legal Issues Volume 13$
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Michael Freeman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599844

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

Mens Rea, Logic, and the Brain

Mens Rea, Logic, and the Brain

(p.29) 3 Mens Rea, Logic, and the Brain
Law and Neuroscience

Gert-Jan Lokhorst

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses some recent work in the artificial intelligence and law community on the logic of mens rea ascriptions. It extends this work to give an account of quantified mens rea ascriptions in the sense in which they have been discussed in the legal literature. It studies the consequences of this work for neuroscience. The chapter argues that it is logically impossible to derive de re ascriptions of mens rea — as opposed to de dicto ascriptions — from neuroscientific evidence. In other words: the distinction between wide and narrow scopes in propositional attitude ascriptions, of which logicians have been aware for a long time, has dramatic consequences for the scope and limits of neuroscience in areas that are of interest to the law.

Keywords:   artificial intelligence, law, mens rea ascriptions, neurosceince

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