VANDERBILT HON 182 - Study Guide (8 pages)

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Study Guide



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Study Guide

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Lecture Notes


Pages:
8
School:
Vanderbilt University
Course:
Hon 182 - The Copernican Revolution

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Published online 26 November 2004 How neuroscience might advance the law Erin Ann O Hara Vanderbilt University Law School 131 21st Avenue South Nashville TN 37240 USA erin ohara law vanderbilt edu This essay discusses the strengths and limitations of the new growing field of law and biology and suggests that advancements in neuroscience can help to bolster that field It also briefly discusses some ways that neuroscience can help to improve the workings of law more generally Keywords legal policy interdisciplinary research neuroscience 1 INTRODUCTION These are exciting times for the curious and the contemplative because the mysteries of the brain are beginning to be understood The popular press is full of stories about studies attempting to locate the places in the brain where thoughts perceptions feelings and motivations are formed For social scientists who create models of human behaviour these findings have enormous potential theoretical value For legal academics striving to find ways to use the law to maximize the beneficial effects of human tendencies neuroscientific developments are potentially immensely important This essay proffers just a few of the myriad ways in which neuroscientific knowledge might be able to improve the law I approach the topic as a law professor who attempts to incorporate knowledge developed in other disciplines into a behavioural model that informs decisions about legal policy As a specialist in law and a student of neuroscience my scientific understanding is comparatively weak In the spirit of attempting to promote interdisciplinary collaboration however this essay will nevertheless discuss some ways in which neuroscience carries the potential to help inform both our models of human behaviour and legal policy In particular this essay will discuss some ways in which neuroscience can help bolster and refine some of the implications of evolutionary theory for law The first section of this essay will provide a brief description of the



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