Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (3):475-481 (2012)

The insanity defense presents many difficult questions for the legal system. It attracts attention beyond its practical significance (it is seldom used successfully) because it goes to the heart of the concept of legal responsibility. “Not guilty by reason of insanity” generally requires that as a result of mental illness the defendant was unable to distinguish right from wrong at the time of the crime. The many difficult and complex questions presented by the insanity defense have led some in the legal community to hope that neuroscience might help resolve some of these problems, but that hope is not likely to be realized
Keywords Insanity defense  Criminal responsibility  Law  NGRI (not guilty by reason of insanity)  Responsibility and neuroscience  Guilty but mentally ill  Competency to stand trial  Irresistible impulse  Temporary insanity  “Right from wrong” test
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11948-012-9390-7
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,512
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Insanity and Responsibility.Herbert Fingarette - 1972 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 15 (1-4):6 – 29.
The Mad, the Bad, and the Psychopath.Heidi L. Maibom - 2008 - Neuroethics 1 (3):167-184.
The Insanity Plea: Szaszian Ethics and Epistemology.Lee S. Weinberg & Richard E. Vatz - 1982 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 3 (3):417-433.
Failed Agency and the Insanity Defence.Steve Matthews - 2004 - International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 27:413-424.
The Moral Foundations of the Insanity Defense.Thomas R. Litwack - 1984 - Criminal Justice Ethics 3 (1):12-19.
Commentary: Insanity Defense Reform.Orrin G. Hatch - 1984 - Criminal Justice Ethics 3 (2):2-88.
The Insanity Defense.Ernest Van Den Haag - 1984 - Criminal Justice Ethics 3 (1):3-11.
Duress and Criminal Responsibility.Craig L. Carr - 1991 - Law and Philosophy 10 (2):161-188.
Responsibility.Garrath Williams - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Legal Responsibility and Neuroscience.Nicole A. Vincent (ed.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
78 ( #150,231 of 2,520,893 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #270,438 of 2,520,893 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes