Minds, Brains, and Law: The Conceptual Foundations of Law and Neuroscience

ISBN : 9780199812134

Michael S. Pardo; Dennis Patterson
272 Pages
163 x 242 mm
Pub date
Feb 2014
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As neuroscientific technologies continue to develop and inform our understanding of the mind, the opportunities for applying neuroscience in legal proceedings have also increased. Cognitive neuroscientists have deepened our understanding of the complex relationship between the mind and the brain by using new techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). The inferences drawn from these findings and increasingly sophisticated technologies are being applied to debates and processes in the legal field, from lie detection in criminal trials to critical legal doctrines surrounding the insanity defense or guilt adjudication. In Minds, Brains, and Law: The Conceptual Foundations of Law and Neuroscience, Michael S. Pardo and Dennis Patterson assess the philosophical questions that arise when neuroscientific research and technology are applied in the legal system. They examine the arguments favoring the increased use of neuroscience in law, the means for assessing its reliability in legal proceedings, and the integration of neuroscientific research into substantive legal doctrines. The authors use their explorations to inform a corrective inquiry into the mistaken inferences and conceptual errors that arise from mismatched concepts, such as the mental disconnect of what constitutes "lying" on a lie detection test. The empirical, practical, ethical, and conceptual issues that Pardo and Patterson seek to redress will deeply influence how we negotiate and implement the fruits of neuroscience in law and policy in the future.


Chapter One: Philosophical Issues
I. The Conceptual and the Empirical
II. Criterial and Inductive Evidence
III. Unconscious Rule Following
IV. Interpretation
V. Knowledge
VI. The Mereological Fallacy
Chapter Two: The Concept of Mind
I. Neuro-Reductionism
II. Eliminative Materialism and the "Theory" of Folk Psychology
III. Two Examples of Neuro-Reductionism and Its Implications for Law
IV. Conceptions of Mind and the Role of Neuroscience in Law
Chapter Three: Neuroscience and Legal Theory: Jurisprudence, Morality, and Economics
I. Jurisprudence
II. Emotion and Moral Judgments
III. Mind, Moral Grammar, and Knowledge
IV. Neuroeconomics
Chapter Four: Brain-Based Lie Detection
I. fMRI Lie Detection
II. EEG Lie Detection ("Brain Fingerprinting")
III. Analysis: Empirical, Conceptual, and Practical Issues
Chapter Five: Criminal Law Doctrine
I. Actus reus
II. Mens rea
III. Insanity
Chapter Six: Criminal Procedure
I. Fourth Amendment
II. Fifth Amendment
III. Due Process
Chapter Seven: Theories of Criminal Punishment
I. A Brief Taxonomy of Theories of Criminal Punishment
II. The First Challenge: Brains and Punishment Decisions
III. The Second Challenge: Neuroscience and Intuitions about Punishment

About the author: 

Michael S. Pardo is the Henry Upson Sims Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law. His scholarship explores epistemological issues in the areas of evidence, criminal procedure, civil procedure, and jurisprudence, with a specific focus regarding evidence and legal proof. He is the co-author of the fifth edition of Evidence: Text, Problems, and Cases (2011, with Allen, Kuhns, Swift, and Schwartz). He received his JD from Northwestern University School of Law. Dennis Patterson is the chair in Legal Philosophy and Legal Theory at the European University Institute, and is also the Board of Governors Professor of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law, and chair in Jurisprudence and International Trade at Swansea University. His scholarship includes commercial law, trade law, and legal philosophy. Patterson is the author of Law and Truth (Oxford University Press, 1996) and The New Global Trading Order (2008, with Ari Afilalo).

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