University of Technology Sydney
  •  892
    On the Relevance of Neuroscience to Criminal Responsibility
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 4 (1): 77-98. 2010.
    Various authors debate the question of whether neuroscience is relevant to criminal responsibility. However, a plethora of different techniques and technologies, each with their own abilities and drawbacks, lurks beneath the label “neuroscience”; and in criminal law responsibility is not a single, unitary and generic concept, but it is rather a syndrome of at least six different concepts. Consequently, there are at least six different responsibility questions that the criminal law asks—at least …Read more
  •  656
    Responsibility: distinguishing virtue from capacity
    Polish Journal of Philosophy 3 (1): 111-26. 2009.
    Garrath Williams claims that truly responsible people must possess a “capacity … to respond [appropriately] to normative demands” (2008:462). However, there are people whom we would normally praise for their responsibility despite the fact that they do not yet possess such a capacity (e.g. consistently well-behaved young children), and others who have such capacity but who are still patently irresponsible (e.g. some badly-behaved adults). Thus, I argue that to qualify for the accolade “a respons…Read more
  •  624
    What do you mean I should take responsibility for my own ill health?
    Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy 1 (1): 39-51. 2009.
    Luck egalitarians think that considerations of responsibility can excuse departures from strict equality. However critics argue that allowing responsibility to play this role has objectionably harsh consequences. Luck egalitarians usually respond either by explaining why that harshness is not excessive, or by identifying allegedly legitimate exclusions from the default responsibility-tracking rule to tone down that harshness. And in response, critics respectively deny that this harshness is not …Read more
  •  535
    Responsibility, Compensation and Accident Law Reform
    Dissertation, University of Adelaide. 2007.
    This thesis considers two allegations which conservatives often level at no-fault systems — namely, that responsibility is abnegated under no-fault systems, and that no-fault systems under- and over-compensate. I argue that although each of these allegations can be satisfactorily met – the responsibility allegation rests on the mistaken assumption that to properly take responsibility for our actions we must accept liability for those losses for which we are causally responsible; and the compensa…Read more
  •  441
    Book Review of "Torts, Egalitarianism and Distributive Justice" by Tsachi Keren-Paz (review)
    Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 33 199-204. 2008.
    In "Torts, Egalitarianism and Distributive Justice" , Tsachi Keren-Paz presents impressingly detailed analysis that bolsters the case in favour of incremental tort law reform. However, although this book's greatest strength is the depth of analysis offered, at the same time supporters of radical law reform proposals may interpret the complexity of the solution that is offered as conclusive proof that tort law can only take adequate account of egalitarian aims at an unacceptably high cost
  •  418
    Equality, Responsibility and Talent Slavery
    Imprints 9 (2): 118-39. 2006.
    Egalitarians must address two questions: i. What should there be an equality of, which concerns the currency of the ‘equalisandum’; and ii. How should this thing be allocated to achieve the so-called equal distribution? A plausible initial composite answer to these two questions is that resources should be allocated in accordance with choice, because this way the resulting distribution of the said equalisandum will ‘track responsibility’ — responsibility will be tracked in the sense that only we…Read more
  •  267
    Compensation for Mere Exposure to Risk
    Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 29 89-101. 2004.
    It could be argued that tort law is failing, and arguably an example of this failure is the recent public liability and insurance (‘PL&I’) crisis. A number of solutions have been proposed, but ultimately the chosen solution should address whatever we take to be the cause of this failure. On one account, the PL&I crisis is a result of an unwarranted expansion of the scope of tort law. Proponents of this position sometimes argue that the duty of care owed by defendants to plaintiffs has expanded b…Read more
  •  252
    What is at stake in taking responsibility? Lessons from third-party property insurance
    [Journal (Paginated)] (in Press) 20 (1): 75-94. 2001.
    Third-party property insurance (TPPI) protects insured drivers who accidentally damage an expensive car from the threat of financial ruin. Perhaps more importantly though, TPPI also protects the victims whose losses might otherwise go uncompensated. Ought responsible drivers therefore take out TPPI? This paper begins by enumerating some reasons for why a rational person might believe that they have a moral obligation to take out TPPI. It will be argued that if what is at stake in taking responsi…Read more
  •  98
    Neuroimaging and Responsibility Assessments
    Neuroethics 4 (1): 35-49. 2011.
    Could neuroimaging evidence help us to assess the degree of a person’s responsibility for a crime which we know that they committed? This essay defends an affirmative answer to this question. A range of standard objections to this high-tech approach to assessing people’s responsibility is considered and then set aside, but I also bring to light and then reject a novel objection—an objection which is only encountered when functional (rather than structural) neuroimaging is used to assess people’s…Read more
  •  90
    “The Neuroscience of Responsibility”—Workshop Report
    with Pim Haselager and Gert-Jan Lokhorst
    Neuroethics 4 (2): 175-178. 2011.
    This is a report on the 3-day workshop “The Neuroscience of Responsibility” that was held in the Philosophy Department at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands during February 11th–13th, 2010. The workshop had 25 participants from The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, UK, USA, Canada and Australia, with expertise in philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry and law. Its aim was to identify current trends in neurolaw research related specifically to the topic of responsibility, and …Read more
  •  82
    Responsibility, dysfunction and capacity
    Neuroethics 1 (3): 199-204. 2008.
    The way in which we characterize the structural and functional differences between psychopath and normal brains – either as biological disorders or as mere biological differences – can influence our judgments about psychopaths’ responsibility for criminal misconduct. However, Marga Reimer (Neuroethics 1(2):14, 2008) points out that whether our characterization of these differences should be allowed to affect our judgments in this manner “is a difficult and important question that really needs to…Read more
  •  77
    Neurolaw and Direct Brain Interventions
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (1): 43-50. 2014.
    This issue of Criminal Law and Philosophy contains three papers on a topic of increasing importance within the field of "neurolaw"-namely, the implications for criminal law of direct brain intervention based mind altering techniques. To locate these papers' topic within a broader context, I begin with an overview of some prominent topics in the field of neurolaw, where possible providing some references to relevant literature. The specific questions asked by the three authors, as well as their a…Read more
  •  64
    Legal responsibility adjudication and the normative authority of the mind sciences
    Philosophical Explorations 14 (3): 315-331. 2011.
    In the field of ?neurolaw?, reformists claim that recent scientific discoveries from the mind sciences have serious ramifications for how legal responsibility should be adjudicated, but conservatives deny that this is so. In contrast, I criticise both of these polar opposite positions by arguing that although scientific findings can have often-weighty normative significance, they lack the normative authority with which reformists often imbue them. After explaining why conservatives and reformist…Read more
  •  61
    A Compatibilist Theory of Legal Responsibility
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (3): 477-498. 2015.
    Philosophical compatibilism reconciles moral responsibility with determinism, and some neurolaw scholars think that it can also reconcile legal views about responsibility with scientific findings about the neurophysiological basis of human action. Although I too am a compatibilist, this paper argues that philosophical compatibilism cannot be transplanted “as-is” from philosophy into law. Rather, before compatibilism can be re-deployed, it must first be modified to take account of differences bet…Read more
  •  53
    Direct brain intervention based mental capacity restoration techniques-for instance, psycho-active drugs-are sometimes used in criminal cases to promote the aims of justice. For instance, they might be used to restore a person's competence to stand trial in order to assess the degree of their responsibility for what they did, or to restore their competence for punishment so that we can hold them responsible for it. Some also suggest that such interventions might be used for therapy or reform in …Read more
  •  48
    Drug addiction and criminal responsibility
    with Jeanette Kennett and Anke Snoek
    In Neil Levy & Jens Clausen (eds.), Handbook on Neuroethics, Springer. pp. 1065-1083. 2014.
    Recent studies reveal some of the neurophysiological mechanisms involved in drug addiction. This prompts some theorists to claim that drug addiction diminishes responsibility. Stephen Morse however rejects this claim. Morse argues that these studies show that drug addiction involves neither compulsion, coercion, nor irrationality. He also adds that addicted people are responsible for becoming addicted and for failing to take measures to manage their addiction. After summarizing relevant neurosci…Read more
  •  40
    Happiness, Cerebroscopes and Incorrigibility: Prospects for Neuroeudaimonia
    with Stephanie M. Hare
    Neuroethics 9 (1): 69-84. 2016.
    Suppose you want to live a happy life. Who should you turn to for advice? We normally think that we know best about our own happiness. But recent work in psychology and neuroscience suggests that we are often mistaken about our own natures, and that sometimes scientists know us better than we know ourselves. Does this mean that to live a happy life we should ask scientists for advice rather than relying on our introspection? In what follows, we highlight ways in which the science of happiness co…Read more
  •  40
    This paper argues that John Fischer and Mark Ravizza's compatibilist theory of moral responsibility cannot justify reactive attitudes like blame and desert-based practices like retributive punishment. The problem with their account, I argue, is that their analysis of moderateness in regards to reasons-responsiveness has the wrong normative features. However, I propose an alternative account of what it means for a mechanism to be moderately reasons-responsive which addresses this deficiency. In a…Read more
  •  29
    Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will by David Hodgson
    with Filippo Santoni de Sio
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (4): 633-644. 2015.
  •  26
    Moral Responsibility: Beyond Free Will and Determinism (edited book)
    with Ibo van de Poel and Jeroen van den Hoven
    Springer. 2011.
    This book'¬"s chapters deal with a range of theoretical problems discussed in classic compatibilist literature '¬ ; e.g. the relationship between ...
  •  20
    Neurointerventions and the Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity (edited book)
    with Thomas Nadelhoffer and Allan McCay
    Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    The development of modern diagnostic neuroimaging techniques led to discoveries about the human brain and mind that helped give rise to the field of neurolaw. This new interdisciplinary field has led to novel directions in analytic jurisprudence and philosophy of law by providing an empirically-informed platform from which scholars have reassessed topics such as mental privacy and self-determination, responsibility and its relationship to mental disorders, and the proper aims of the criminal law…Read more
  •  9
    Who Should Enhance? Conceptual and Normative Dimensions of Cognitive Enhancement
    with Filippo Santoni de Sio and Philip Robichaud
    Humana Mente 7 (26). 2014.
    When should humans enhance themselves? We try to answer this question by engaging in a conceptual analysis of the nature of different activities. We think that cognitive enhancement is morally impermissible in some practice-oriented activities, such as some educational activities, when it is the case both that cognitive enhancement would negatively affect the point of those activities and that we have good reasons to value that point. We then argue that cognitive enhancement should be allowed in…Read more
  •  6
    Responsibility: distinguishing virtue from capacity
    Polish Journal of Philosophy 3 (1): 111-126. 2009.
    Garrath Williams claims that truly responsible people must possess a “capacity … to respond [appropriately] to normative demands”. However, there are people whom we would normally praise for their responsibility despite the fact that they do not yet possess such a capacity, and others who have such capacity but who are still patentlyirresponsible. Thus, I argue that to qualify for the accolade “a responsible person” one need not possess such a capacity, but only to be earnestly willing to do the…Read more
  •  4
    The Importance of Monitoring in the Adoption of More Liberal Drug Policies
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 3 (2): 30-31. 2012.
  • Law and Mind: A Survey of Law and the Cognitive Sciences (edited book)
    with Bartosz Brożek and Jaap Hage
    Cambridge University Press. 2021.
    Are the cognitive sciences relevant for law? How do they influence legal theory and practice? Should lawyers become part-time cognitive scientists? The recent advances in the cognitive sciences have reshaped our conceptions of human decision-making and behavior. Many claim, for instance, that we can no longer view ourselves as purely rational agents equipped with free will. This change is vitally important for lawyers, who are forced to rethink the foundations of their theories and the framework…Read more
  • Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility (edited book)
    Oup Usa. 2013.
    Adopting a broadly compatibilist approach, this volume's authors argue that the behavioral and mind sciences do not threaten the moral foundations of legal responsibility. Rather, these sciences provide fresh insight into human agency and updated criteria as well as powerful diagnostic and intervention tools for assessing and altering minds.