Madness, badness, and neuroimaging-based responsibility assessments

Nicole A. Vincent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter poses the interesting question whether lacking the mental capacity for moral agency excuses or condemns further. Heidi Maibom, in a recent article, has argued for the latter, so that such evidence would enhance the prosecution's case. Marga Reimer, also in a recent article, claims that such evidence both increases and condemns. It is argued that once we distinguish condemnation of people 'for who they are' from 'what they do', and realize that each of these two types of condemnation plays a role at a different stage in a criminal trial, we will see that at the guilt determination stage such evidence clearly favours the defence. The claims of Maibom and Reimer are rejected.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw and neuroscience
Subtitle of host publicationcurrent legal issues 2010
EditorsMichael Freeman
Place of PublicationOxford ; New York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780191725227
ISBN (Print)9780199599844
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent Legal Issues
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Condemnation
  • Criminal behaviour
  • Criminal responsibility
  • Guilt
  • Mental capacity
  • Moral agency


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