The promise of neuroscience for law : ‘overclaiming’ in jurisprudence, morality, and economics
Title: The promise of neuroscience for law : ‘overclaiming’ in jurisprudence, morality, and economics
Citation: Dennis PATTERSON and Michael S. PARDO (eds), Philosophical foundations of law and neuroscience, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 231-247
This chapter considers the claims made on behalf of neuroscience in three areas: legal philosophy, emotion and moral judgment, and economics. It argues that reductionist claims made for the explanatory power of neuroscience are simply not demonstrated in these areas. Neuroscience, at least so far, tells us nothing of import in the area of legal philosophy. With respect to moral judgments, there are many interesting claims made about the roles of emotion, but there is no evidence that neuroscientific data about the brain provides answers to the difficult normative questions. Finally, even if neuroscience can tell where in the brain one finds the neural correlates of economic decisions, it is questionable whether this information answers any normative questions about rationality or economic reasoning.
Subject: Legal philosophy; Emotion; Moral judgment; Economics; Reductionist claims
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