Guest lecture

Guest lecture: Neurolaw: Perils and Promises

We are delighted to invite all interested to the guest lecture: «Neurolaw: Perils and Promises» by Professor Stephen J. Morse, J.D., Ph.D University of Pennsylvania Law School and Department of Psychiatry at The faculty of Law, University of Bergen.

Foto/ill.: Victoria Westrum/Dragefjellet teaching center/University of Pennsylvania

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Professor Stephen J. Morse is the Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also holds the position Professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and is the Associate Director of Center for Neuroscience & Society at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Morse is also part of the research team in the DIMENSIONS project. He is therefore coming to the University of Bergen to share his expertise in legal philosophy annd psychology/neuroscience in law.

About the guest lecture 

The lecture addresses the current relevance of behavioral neuroscience to the law, especially to issues of criminal responsibility and competence. The essential thesis is that, despite the exaggerated claims of some “neuroexuberants,” at present neuroscience offers extremely limited contributions to criminal justice and it will not justify radical reforms.  Topics to be addressed include an explanation of the legal doctrines at stake, the sources of the often inflated claims for the legal relevance of neuroscience, the scientific status of behavioral neuroscience, and the two radical challenges to current conceptions of criminal responsibility that neuroscience allegedly poses: determinism and the death of agency. The question of the specific relevance of neuroscience to criminal law doctrine, practice and institutions is considered, followed by a discussion of how neuroscience evidence is being used in criminal cases in five different countries.  Brief mention is made of some areas warranting modest optimism.

The lecture is arranged by the DIMENSIONS project and the Research group for Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.

An open invitation to the guest lecture can be found here

For any inquiries please contact research assistant Victoria Westrum.