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Full-Text Articles in Law

Detecting Mens Rea In The Brain, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Gideon Yaffe Jan 2020

Detecting Mens Rea In The Brain, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Gideon Yaffe

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

What if the widely used Model Penal Code (MPC) assumes a distinction between mental states that doesn’t actually exist? The MPC assumes, for instance, that there is a real distinction in real people between the mental states it defines as “knowing” and “reckless.” But is there?

If there are such psychological differences, there must also be brain differences. Consequently, the moral legitimacy of the Model Penal Code’s taxonomy of culpable mental states – which punishes those in defined mental states differently – depends on whether those mental states actually correspond to different brain states in the way the MPC categorization …


The Problems With Decision-Making, Joanna K. Sax Jan 2020

The Problems With Decision-Making, Joanna K. Sax

Faculty Scholarship

Our society faces major challenges in numerous areas, including climate change and healthcare. Addressing these problems with technological advances are of great importance. Increasingly, however, consumers are resisting or rejecting such technological interventions based on inappropriate assignment of risk. In other words, the consumer assessment of risk is not in line with evidence-based assessment of risk. This article focuses on two controversial areas, vaccines and genetically engineered food, as examples in which consumers assign a high risk despite an evidence-based assessment of low risk. This article describes how empirically tested decision-making theories explain why consumers inappropriately assign risk. While these …