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  1. Purposes in law and in life: An experimental investigation of purpose attribution.Almeida Guilherme, Joshua Knobe, Noel Struchiner & Ivar Hannikainen - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.
    There has been considerable debate in legal philosophy about how to attribute purposes to rules. Separately, within cognitive science, there has been a growing body of research concerned with questions about how people ordinarily attribute purposes. Here, we argue that these two separate fields might be connected by experimental jurisprudence. Across four studies, we find evidence for the claim that people use the same criteria to attribute purposes to physical objects and to rules. In both cases, purpose attributions appear to (...)
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  2. Causation and the Silly Norm Effect.Levin Güver & Markus Kneer - forthcoming - In Stefan Magen & Karolina Prochownik (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Law. Bloomsbury Press.
    In many spheres, the law takes the legal concept of causation to correspond to the folk concept (the correspondence assumption). Courts, including the US Supreme Court, tend to insist on the "common understanding" and that which is "natural to say" (Burrage v. United States) when it comes to expressions relating to causation, and frequently refuse to clarify the expression to juries. As recent work in psychology and experimental philosophy has uncovered, lay attributions of causation are susceptible to a great number (...)
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  3. Problems on the Legalization of LGBT Marriage in the Communist Block - A Preliminary Legal Review.Yang Immanuel Pachankis - forthcoming - Scientific Research Publishing.
    The article analyzes the legislative issues on equal marriage in P. R. China. It adopts a path dependency analysis on the liberal institutional order’s effects to the regime’s structural discrimination on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population. The research adopted a duo-lingual paradigm on Christianity with intercultural and transnational interpretations, and the research found the mis-adaption of language in the Chinese text of the United Nations charter is the key source to the suppression of the LGBT population in (...)
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  4. Do rape cases sit in a moral blindspot?Katrina L. Sifferd - forthcoming - In Samuel Murray & Paul Henne (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Action. London, UK:
    Empirical research has distinguished moral judgments that focus on an act and the actor’s intention or mental states, and those that focus on results of an action and then seek a causal actor. Studies indicate these two types of judgments may result from a “dual-process system” of moral judgment (Cushman 2008, Kneer and Machery 2019). Results-oriented judgements may be subject to the problem of resultant moral luck because different results can arise from the same action and intention. While some argue (...)
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  5. Having Your Day in Robot Court.Benjamin Chen, Alexander Stremitzer & Kevin Tobia - 2023 - Harvard Journal of Law and Technology 36.
    Should machines be judges? Some say no, arguing that citizens would see robot-led legal proceedings as procedurally unfair because “having your day in court” is having another human adjudicate your claims. Prior research established that people obey the law in part because they see it as procedurally just. The introduction of artificially intelligent (AI) judges could therefore undermine sentiments of justice and legal compliance if citizens intuitively take machine-adjudicated proceedings to be less fair than the human-adjudicated status quo. Two original (...)
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  6. Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Law.Stefan Magen & Karolina Prochownik (eds.) - 2023 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    Only recently have philosophers and psychologists begun to consider empirical research methods to inform questions and debates in legal philosophy. With the field ripe for further experimental inquiry, this collection explores the most topical empirical developments and anticipates future research directions. Bringing together legal scholars, psychologists and philosophers, chapters address questions such as: Do people share a stable set of intuitions about what the law is? What are common perceptions about causation, intentionality, culpability, and are they consistent with the corresponding (...)
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  7. Ordinary Meaning and Ordinary People.Kevin Tobia, Brian Slocum & Victoria Nourse - 2023 - University of Pennsylvania Law Review 171.
    Perhaps the most fundamental principle of legal interpretation is the presumption that terms should be given their “ordinary” (i.e., general, non-technical) meanings. This principle is a central tenet of modern textualism. Textualists believe a universal presumption of ordinary meaning follows from their theory’s core commitment: A law should be interpreted consistently with what its text communicates to the ordinary public. This Article begins from this textualist premise, empirically examining what legal texts communicate to the public. Five original empirical studies (N (...)
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  8. Judgment and Embodied Cognition of Lawyers. Moral Decision-Making and Interoceptive Physiology in the Legal Field.Laura Angioletti, Federico Tormen & Michela Balconi - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Past research showed that the ability to focus on one’s internal states positively correlates with the self-regulation of behavior in situations that are accompanied by somatic and/or physiological changes, such as emotions, physical workload, and decision-making. The analysis of moral oriented decision-making can be the first step for better understanding the legal reasoning carried on by the main players in the field, as lawyers are. For this reason, this study investigated the influence of the decision context and interoceptive manipulation on (...)
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  9. Do Formalist Judges Abide By Their Abstract Principles? A Two-Country Study in Adjudication.Piotr Bystranowski, Bartosz Janik, Maciej Próchnicki, Ivar Rodriguez Hannikainen, Guilherme da Franca Couto Fernandes de Almeida & Noel Struchiner - 2022 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (5):1903-1935.
    Recent literature in experimental philosophy has postulated the existence of the abstract/concrete paradox : the tendency to activate inconsistent intuitions depending on whether a problem to be analyzed is framed in abstract terms or is described as a concrete case. One recent study supports the thesis that this effect influences judicial decision-making, including decision-making by professional judges, in areas such as interpretation of constitutional principles and application of clear-cut rules. Here, following the existing literature in legal theory, we argue that (...)
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  10. Corporate Identity.Mihailis E. Diamantis - 2022 - In Experimental Philosophy of Identity and the Self. New York: pp. 203-216.
    Any effort to specify identity conditions for corporations faces significant challenges. Corporations are amorphous. Nature draws no hard lines defining where they start or stop, whether in space or time. Corporations are also frustratingly dynamic. They often change the most basic aspects of their composition by exchanging parts, splitting and merging, changing ownership, and reworking fundamental internal operations. -/- Even so, we apply corporate identity conditions all the time. Both law and common intuition recognize that corporations do things—like pollute environments (...)
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  11. The Folk Concept of Law: Law Is Intrinsically Moral.Brian Flanagan & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):165-179.
    ABSTRACT Most theorists agree that our social order includes a distinctive legal dimension. A fundamental question is that of whether reference to specific legal phenomena always involves a commitment to a particular moral view. Whereas many philosophers advance the ‘positivist’ claim that any correspondence between morality and the law is just a function of political circumstance, natural law theorists insist that law is intrinsically moral. Each school claims the crucial advantage of consistency with our folk concept. Drawing on the notion (...)
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  12. Coordination and expertise foster legal textualism.Ivar Hannikainen, Kevin Tobia, Guilherme de Almeida, Noel Struchiner, Markus Kneer, Piotr Bystranowski, Niek Strohmaier, Sammy Bensinger, Kristina Dolinina, Bartosz Janik, Egle Lauraityte, Michael Laakasuo, Alice Liefgreen, Ivars Neiders, Maciej Prochnicki, Alejandro Rosas, Jukka Sundvall & Tomasz Zuradzki - 2022 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119 (44):e2206531119.
    A cross-cultural survey experiment revealed a widespread tendency to rely on a rule’s letter over its spirit when deciding which acts violate the rule. This tendency’s strength varied markedly across (k = 15) field sites, owing to cultural variation in the impact of moral appraisals on judgments of rule violation. Compared to laypeople, legal experts were more inclined to disregard their moral evaluations of the acts altogether, and consequently exhibited more pronounced textualist tendencies. Finally, we evaluated a plausible mechanism for (...)
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  13. Works for Works, Book 1: Useless Beauty.Gavin Keeney - 2022 - Santa Barbara, CA, USA: Punctum.
    Press Release for Works for Works, Book 1: Useless Beauty (Punctum Books, 2022).
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  14. Experimental Jurisprudence.Kevin Tobia - 2022 - University of Chicago Law Review 89:735-802.
    “Experimental jurisprudence” draws on empirical data to inform questions typically associated with jurisprudence or legal theory. Scholars in this flourishing movement conduct empirical studies about a variety of legal language and concepts. Despite the movement’s growth, its justification is still opaque. Jurisprudence is the study of deep and longstanding theoretical questions about law’s nature, but “experimental jurisprudence,” it might seem, simply surveys laypeople. This Article elaborates and defends experimental jurisprudence. Experimental jurisprudence, appropriately understood, is not only consistent with traditional jurisprudence; (...)
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  15. Progressive Textualism.Kevin Tobia, Brian Slocum & Victoria Nourse - 2022 - Georgetown Law Journal 110.
    Textualism is now the Court’s lingua franca. In response, some have proposed a “progressive textualism,” defined by the use of traditional textualist methods to reach politically progressive results. This Article explores a different kind of “progressive textualism.” Rather than starting with the desired policy outcome—politically progressive or conservative—we begin from one of modern textualism’s central values: A commitment to “democratic” interpretation. As Justice Barrett argues, this commitment views textualists as “agents of the people” who “approach language from the perspective of (...)
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  16. Statutory Interpretation from the Outside.Kevin Tobia, Brian Slocum & Victoria Nourse - 2022 - Columbia Law Review 122.
    How should judges decide which linguistic canons to apply in interpreting statutes? One important answer looks to the inside of the legislative process: Follow the rules that lawmakers contemplate. A different answer, based on the “ordinary meaning” doctrine, looks to the outside: Follow the rules that would guide an ordinary person’s understanding of the legal text. Empirical scholars have studied statutory interpretation from the inside—revealing what rules drafters follow—but never from the outside. We offer a novel framework for empirically testing (...)
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  17. Are There Cross-Cultural Legal Principles? Modal Reasoning Uncovers Procedural Constraints on Law.Ivar R. Hannikainen, Kevin P. Tobia, Guilherme da F. C. F. De Almeida, Raff Donelson, Vilius Dranseika, Markus Kneer, Niek Strohmaier, Piotr Bystranowski, Kristina Dolinina, Bartosz Janik, Sothie Keo, Eglė Lauraitytė, Alice Liefgreen, Maciej Próchnicki, Alejandro Rosas & Noel Struchiner - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (8):e13024.
    Despite pervasive variation in the content of laws, legal theorists and anthropologists have argued that laws share certain abstract features and even speculated that law may be a human universal. In the present report, we evaluate this thesis through an experiment administered in 11 different countries. Are there cross-cultural principles of law? In a between-subjects design, participants (N = 3,054) were asked whether there could be laws that violate certain procedural principles (e.g., laws applied retrospectively or unintelligible laws), and also (...)
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  18. The experimental philosophy of law: New ways, old questions, and how not to get lost.Karolina Magdalena Prochownik - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (12):e12791.
    The experimental philosophy of law is a recent movement that aims to inform traditional debates in jurisprudence by conducting empirical research. This paper introduces and provides a systematic overview of the main lines of research in this field. It also covers the most important debates in the literature regarding the implications of these findings for the philosophy and theory of law. It argues that three challenges arise when addressing (old) legal-philosophical questions in (new) experimental ways by drawing normative implications from (...)
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  19. The Corpus and the Courts.Kevin Tobia - 2021 - University of Chicago Law Review Online 2021.
    The legal corpus linguistics movement is one of the most exciting recent developments in legal theory. Justice Thomas R. Lee and Stephen C. Mouritsen are its pioneers, and their new article thoughtfully responds to critics. Here, Part I applauds their response as a cautious account of how those methods might, in some circumstances, provide relevant evidence about ordinary meaning in legal interpretation. Some disagreements persist, but The Corpus and the Critics makes significant progress in academic debates about legal interpretation. Part (...)
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  20. Fuller and the Folk: The Inner Morality of Law Revisited.Raff Donelson & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2020 - In Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 3. Oxford: pp. 6-28.
    The experimental turn in philosophy has reached several sub-fields including ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. This paper is among the first to apply experimental techniques to questions in the philosophy of law. Specifically, we examine Lon Fuller's procedural natural law theory. Fuller famously claimed that legal systems necessarily observe eight principles he called "the inner morality of law." We evaluate Fuller's claim by surveying both ordinary people and legal experts about their intuitions about legal systems. We conclude that, at best, we (...)
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  21. Legal decision-making and the abstract/concrete paradox.Noel Struchiner, Guilherme da F. C. F. De Almeida & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2020 - Cognition 205 (C):104421.
    Higher courts sometimes assess the constitutionality of law by working through a concrete case, other times by reasoning about the underlying question in a more abstract way. Prior research has found that the degree of concreteness or abstraction with which an issue is formulated can influence people's prescriptive views: For instance, people often endorse punishment for concrete misdeeds that they would oppose if the circumstances were described abstractly. We sought to understand whether the so-called ‘abstract/concrete paradox’ also jeopardizes the consistency (...)
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  22. An experimental guide to vehicles in the park.Noel Struchiner, Ivar Hannikainen & Guilherme da F. C. F. de Almeida - 2020 - Judgment and Decision Making 15 (3):312-329.
    Prescriptive rules guide human behavior across various domains of community life, including law, morality, and etiquette. What, specifically, are rules in the eyes of their subjects, i.e., those who are expected to abide by them? Over the last sixty years, theorists in the philosophy of law have offered a useful framework with which to consider this question. Some, following H. L. A. Hart, argue that a rule’s text at least sometimes suffices to determine whether the rule itself covers a case. (...)
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  23. Testing Ordinary Meaning.Kevin Tobia - 2020 - Harvard Law Review 134.
    Within legal scholarship and practice, among the most pervasive tasks is the interpretation of texts. And within legal interpretation, perhaps the most pervasive inquiry is the search for “ordinary meaning.” Jurists often treat ordinary meaning analysis as an empirical inquiry, aiming to discover a fact about how people understand language. When evaluating ordinary meaning, interpreters rely on dictionary definitions or patterns of common usage, increasingly via “legal corpus linguistics” approaches. However, the most central question about these popular methods remains open: (...)
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  24. No luck for moral luck.Markus Kneer & Edouard Machery - 2019 - Cognition 182 (C):331-348.
    Moral philosophers and psychologists often assume that people judge morally lucky and morally unlucky agents differently, an assumption that stands at the heart of the Puzzle of Moral Luck. We examine whether the asymmetry is found for reflective intuitions regarding wrongness, blame, permissibility, and punishment judg- ments, whether people’s concrete, case-based judgments align with their explicit, abstract principles regarding moral luck, and what psychological mechanisms might drive the effect. Our experiments produce three findings: First, in within-subjects experiments favorable to reflective (...)
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  25. Building a corpus of legal argumentation in Japanese judgement documents: towards structure-based summarisation.Hiroaki Yamada, Simone Teufel & Takenobu Tokunaga - 2019 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 27 (2):141-170.
    We present an annotation scheme describing the argument structure of judgement documents, a central construct in Japanese law. To support the final goal of this work, namely summarisation aimed at the legal professions, we have designed blueprint models of summaries of various granularities, and our annotation model in turn is fitted around the information needed for the summaries. In this paper we report results of a manual annotation study, showing that the annotation is stable. The annotated corpus we created contains (...)
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  26. Intention, cause, et responsabilité: Mens Rea et effet Knobe.Markus Kneer & Sacha Bourgeois Gironde - 2018 - In Samuel Ferey & Florence G'Sell (eds.), Causalité, Responsabilité et Contribution à la Dette. Paris: pp. 117–144.
    Condition essentielle de la responsabilité civile, la notion de causalité reste aujourd’hui difficile à saisir et sujette à nombreuses discussions. Les contributions présentées dans cet ouvrage abordent la question à nouveaux frais, en adoptant un point de vue résolument interdisciplinaire mêlant philosophie, droit et économie. Sont envisagées successivement des difficultés que le contentieux de la causalité met régulièrement en évidence. Ainsi, la difficile articulation entre causalité juridique et causalité scientifique conduit à s’interroger sur le rôle de la science : doit-elle (...)
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  27. On Blaming and Punishing Psychopaths.Marion Godman & Anneli Jefferson - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (1):127-142.
    Current legal practice holds that a diagnosis of psychopathy does not remove criminal responsibility. In contrast, many philosophers and legal experts are increasingly persuaded by evidence from experimental psychology and neuroscience indicating moral and cognitive deficits in psychopaths and have argued that they should be excused from moral responsibility. However, having opposite views concerning psychopaths’ moral responsibility, on the one hand, and criminal responsibility, on the other, seems unfortunate given the assumption that the law should, at least to some extent, (...)
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  28. A deterministic worldview promotes approval of state paternalism.Ivar Hannikainen, Gabriel Cabral, Edouard Machery & Noel Struchiner - 2017 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 70:251-259.
    The proper limit to paternalist regulation of citizens' private lives is a recurring theme in political theory and ethics. In the present study, we examine the role of beliefs about free will and determinism in attitudes toward libertarian versus paternalist policies. Throughout five studies we find that a scientific deterministic worldview reduces opposition toward paternalist policies, independent of the putative influence of political ideology. We suggest that exposure to scientific explanations for patterns in human behavior challenges the notion of personal (...)
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  29. Law, Reason, and Emotion? The Challenge from Empirical Ethics.Norbert Paulo - 2017 - Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie 103 (2):239-258.
    Empirically minded philosophers and scientists have recently challenged the traditional view that legal and moral decision making are guided by reason rather than emotion. The rationalistic ideal no longer seems to be an appropriate picture of normative decision making. This paper uses the work of Joshua Greene, a philosophically trained psychologist, to exemplarily introduce some of the challenges for the rationalistic ideal from the point of view of empirical ethics. An outline of Greene’s empirical research is followed by a detailed (...)
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  30. Ownership Rights.Shaylene Nancekivell, J. Charles Millar, Pauline Summers & Ori Friedman - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma Wesley Buckwalter (ed.), A companion to experimental philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 247-256.
    A chapter reviewing recent experimental work on people's conceptions of ownership rights.
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  31. Laws of cognition and the cognition of law.Dan M. Kahan - 2015 - Cognition 135 (C):56-60.
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  32. Belief States in Criminal Law.James A. Macleod - 2015 - Oklahoma Law Review 68.
    Belief-state ascription — determining what someone “knew,” “believed,” was “aware of,” etc. — is central to many areas of law. In criminal law, the distinction between knowledge and recklessness, and the use of broad jury instructions concerning other belief states, presupposes a common and stable understanding of what those belief-state terms mean. But a wealth of empirical work at the intersection of philosophy and psychology — falling under the banner of “Experimental Epistemology” — reveals how laypeople’s understandings of mens rea (...)
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  33. Punishment in Humans: From Intuitions to Institutions.Fiery Cushman - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):117-133.
    Humans have a strong sense of who should be punished, when, and how. Many features of these intuitions are consistent with a simple adaptive model: Punishment evolved as a mechanism to teach social partners how to behave in future interactions. Yet, it is clear that punishment as practiced in modern contexts transcends any biologically evolved mechanism; it also depends on cultural institutions including the criminal justice system and many smaller analogs in churches, corporations, clubs, classrooms, and so on. These institutions (...)
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  34. The Future of Punishment.Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press USA.
    The twelve essays in this volume aim at providing philosophers, neuroscientists, psychologists, and legal theorists with an opportunity to examine the cluster of related issues that will need to be addressed as scholars struggle to come to grips with the picture of human agency being pieced together by researchers in the biosciences.
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  35. The Mind, the Brain, and the Law.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Dena Gromet, Geoffrey Goodwin, Eddy Nahmias, Chandra Sripada & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2013 - In Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oup Usa.
  36. Folk retributivism and the communication confound.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Saeideh Heshmati, Deanna Kaplan & Shaun Nichols - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (2):235-261.
    Retributivist accounts of punishment maintain that it is right to punish wrongdoers, even if the punishment has no future benefits. Research in experimental economics indicates that people are willing to pay to punish defectors. A complementary line of work in social psychology suggests that people think that it is right to punish wrongdoers. This work suggests that people are retributivists about punishment. However, all of the extant work contains an important potential confound. The target of the punishment is expected to (...)
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  37. Young children's understanding of ownership.Shaylene E. Nancekivell, Julia W. Van de Vondervoort & Ori Friedman - 2013 - Child Development Perspectives 7 (4):243-247.
    Ownership influences the permissibility of people's use of objects. Understanding ownership is therefore necessary for socially appropriate behavior and is an important part of children's social‐cognitive development. Children are sophisticated in their reasoning about ownership early in development. They make a variety of judgments about ownership, including judgments about how ownership is acquired, who owns what, and ownership rights. Understanding how children reason about ownership can also inform broader questions about the nature and origins of ownership. 2016 APA, all rights (...)
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  38. Moral Grammar and Human Rights.John Mikhail - 2012 - In Ryan Goodman, Derek Jinks & Andrew K. Woods (eds.), Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights. Oup Usa. pp. 160.
  39. Neurolaw and Neuroprediction: Potential Promises and Perils.Thomas Nadelhoffer & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):631-642.
    Neuroscience has been proposed for use in the legal system for purposes of mind reading, assessment of responsibility, and prediction of misconduct. Each of these uses has both promises and perils, and each raises issues regarding the admissibility of neuroscientific evidence.
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  40. Moral grammar and intuitive jurisprudence: A formal model of unconscious moral and legal knowledge.John Mikhail - 2009 - In B. H. Ross, D. M. Bartels, C. W. Bauman, L. J. Skitka & D. L. Medin (eds.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation, Vol. 50: Moral Judgment and Decision Making. Academic Press.
    Could a computer be programmed to make moral judgments about cases of intentional harm and unreasonable risk that match those judgments people already make intuitively? If the human moral sense is an unconscious computational mechanism of some sort, as many cognitive scientists have suggested, then the answer should be yes. So too if the search for reflective equilibrium is a sound enterprise, since achieving this state of affairs requires demarcating a set of considered judgments, stating them as explanandum sentences, and (...)
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  41. Where Does Blaming Come From?Lawrence Solan - 2005 - Brooklyn Law Review 71:939.
  42. What is a Person? Evidence on Mind Perceptions from Natural Language.Elliott Ash, Dominik Stammbach & Kevin Tobia - manuscript
    Recent psychology research has established that people do not employ a simple unidimensional scale for attributions of personhood, increasing from non-sentient rocks to mentally complex humans. Rather, there are two personhood dimensions: agency (e.g. planning, deciding, acting) and experience (e.g. feeling, desiring, experiencing). Here we show that this subtle distinction also occurs in the semantic space of natural language. We develop computational-linguistics tools for measuring variation in agency and experience in language and validate the measures against human judgments. To demonstrate (...)
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  43. The Linguistic and Substantive Canons.Kevin Tobia & Brian Slocum - manuscript
    Today’s textualist Supreme Court draws a bright line between essential “linguistic” interpretive canons and suspect “substantive” canons. This Article’s thesis is that the venerable linguistic/substantive dichotomy is false. We present the first empirical study of whether ordinary people (N = 1,520) understand rules in line with some of law’s substantive canons. The study supports that some substantive canons represent valid linguistic generalizations about how ordinary people understand rules’ meaning. For example, the presumption against retroactivity is usually justified by values like (...)
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  44. Does unconscious racial bias affect trial judges.Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Sheri Lynn Johnson, Andrew J. Wistrich & Chris Guthrie - unknown
    Race matters in the criminal justice system. Black defendants appear to fare worse than similarly situated white defendants. Why? Implicit bias is one possibility. Researchers, using a well-known measure called the implicit association test, have found that most white Americans harbor implicit bias toward Black Americans. Do judges, who are professionally committed to egalitarian norms, hold these same implicit biases? And if so, do these biases account for racially disparate outcomes in the criminal justice system? We explored these two research (...)
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