Download Biological Determinism, Free Will and Moral Responsibility: by Chris Willmott PDF

By Chris Willmott

This e-book examines the way new discoveries approximately genetic and neuroscience are influencing our figuring out of human behaviour. As scientists resolve extra in regards to the ways that genes and the surroundings interact to form the improvement of our brains, their stories have value past the slim confines of the laboratory. This rising wisdom has implications for our notions of morality and legal accountability. the level to which “biological determinism” can be utilized as an evidence for our behaviour is of curiosity to philosophers reflecting at the loose will as opposed to determinism debate. It additionally has repercussions for the legal justice method; in courtrooms worldwide, defence attorneys are starting to entice genetic and mind imaging info as grounds for locating their consumers no longer to blame. Can a defendant’s genes or the constitution of his mind be used as an excuse for his behaviour? Is criminal activity “hardwired”? Is it valid to assert “I couldn’t support it, my genes made me do it”? This booklet appeals to a person attracted to the hyperlink among behaviour and genetics, the technological know-how and philosophy of ethical accountability and/or felony law.​

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Additional resources for Biological Determinism, Free Will and Moral Responsibility: Insights from Genetics and Neuroscience

Sample text

4 Brain Injury: Examples of Altered Behaviour Arising from Changes in Brain Structure Finally in this chapter, we need to briefly rehearse the potential insights into links between brain structure and behaviour revealed by cases of brain injury. One of the goals of brain imaging research is to identify causal links between brain structure and behaviour. Many investigations, for example, have noted correlation between the volume of brain tissue in given sections of the prefrontal cortex and particular antisocial behaviours (reviewed by Yang and Raine 2009).

As areas of brain tissue die away, other symptoms can include the emergence of antisocial behaviour, such as sexual disinhibition and increased aggression (Burns et al. 1990). Men carrying the abnormal Huntington’s disease gene are disproportionately likely to be involved in criminal behaviour (Jensen et al. 1998). So, what impact might genetic or neurological abnormalities have had on the behaviour of defendants in criminal trials? In the next chapter we will review some of the existing cases in which attempts have been made to introduce neuroscientific and genetic evidence.

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