Responsibility Between Neuroscience and Criminal Law. The Control Component of Criminal Liability
Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia
The paper discusses the contribution that the neuroscience of action can offer to the legal understanding of action control and responsibility in the case of adult individuals. In particular, we address the issues that follow. What are the cognitive capacities that agents must display in order to be held liable to punishment in criminal law? Is the legal model of liability to punishment compatible with a scientifically informed understanding of voluntary behaviour? To what extent should the law
... tent should the law take into account people's subjective feelings about their own actions? As a result of our analyses, we indicate some areas where the contribution of the neuroscience of action to the law is potentially relevant. We focus on the subjectivity mechanisms of action control, specifically the requirement that the agent must violate the law voluntarily in order to be held responsible, and on the factors that modulate the wrongdoer's experience of agency. Overall, we advocate more cross-disciplinary work, aimed to bridge the gap between conceptual boundaries, on the theme of responsibility for actions.