Final call for abstracts

Deadline Monday May 28

M O R A L  &  C R I M I N A L  R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y

A N D  N E U R O S C I E N C E


Workshop 18-19th June, 2012

Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London

AHRC ‘Science in Culture’ Project: Neuroscience and the Law  – Free Will, Responsibility and Punishment.


This workshop aims to bring together early-career researchers in law, philosophy, neuroscience and psychology to explore in what way, if any, recent findings in neuroscience (broadly construed) can inform debates on the source of voluntary action and the related notions of moral and criminal responsibility.


Issues that might be addressed are: Should we hold criminals diagnosed with psychopathy less accountable for their crimes given that studies show that psychopaths have reduced moral judgment and/or empathy? Does evidence from neuroscience and behavioral genetics have any implications for the scope of circumstances that are understood as “mitigating”? Does such evidence have any bearing on whether the purpose of punishment for criminal acts should be conceived as a matter of retribution or rehabilitation? Do the “timing experiments” by Benjamin Libet and others fundamentally undermine the voluntary control condition that many compatibilists claim is a condition for moral accountability? If so, does it in turn also undermine the condition for criminal responsibility?


Keynote Speakers:


Stephen Morse Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law & Professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania


Thomas Nadelhoffer Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Dickenson College


Abstract submission: We invite PhD students and early-career researchers from philosophy, law, neuroscience and psychology to submit abstracts for presentation. We welcome any submission that addresses responsibility in the three-way intersection between law, neuroscience, and philosophy. All extended abstract submissions should be no more than 1000 words and in PDF-format. They should also be properly prepared for blind refereeing. The abstract should state the primary discipline of your paper (e.g. philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, or law) and be sent to Marion Godman, by May 28th (***Note deadline ***).

Successful applicants will be sent an invitation to attend by May 31st. We will pay speakers’ travel (within the UK) and accommodation costs. Anyone who applies but is not selected to present will be welcome to attend the event free of charge, but we cannot subsidize travel and accommodation.

This meeting is organized as part of an AHRC ‘Exploratory Awards’ grant (‘Science in Culture’ Project: Neuroscience and Law Project – Free Will, Responsibility and Punishment).

Organization: Marion Godman (Institute of Philosophy, London) & Helen Beebee (University of Birmingham and Institute of Philosophy, London)

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