Katrina L. Sifferd Elmhurst College
Contact

Affiliations
  • Faculty, Elmhurst College
  • PhD, King's College London, 2004.

Areas of specialization

Areas of interest

blank
About me
Katrina is Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Elmhurst College, in Illinois. Her areas of specialty include philosophy of law, philosophy of mind, and ethics, and she holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of London, King's College. Katrina's Ph.D. thesis, entitled 'Psychology and the Criminal Law', supervised by David Papineau, explored the nature of the folk concepts underpinning criminal responsibility, and the way in which those concepts may be updated via scientific psychology. Katrina also has a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. Before teaching at Elmhurst College she held the Rockefeller Fellowship in Law and Public Policy and a Visiting Professorship in philosophy at Dartmouth College. Prior to earning her Ph.D., Katrina worked as a senior research analyst on projects for the National Institute of Justice.
My works
11 items found.
Sort by:
  1. Katrina L. Sifferd (forthcoming). What Does It Mean to Be a Mechanism? Stephen Morse, Non-Reductivism, and Mental Causation. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-17.
    Stephen Morse seems to have adopted a controversial position regarding the mindbody relationship: John Searle’s non-reductivism, which claims that conscious mental states are causal yet not reducible to their underlying brain states. Searle’s position has been roundly criticized, with some arguing the theory taken as a whole is incoherent. In this paper I review these criticisms and add my own, concluding that Searle’s position is indeed contradictory, both internally and with regard to Morse's other views. Thus I argue that Morse (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. William Hirstein & Katrina Sifferd (2014). Ethics and the Brains of Psychopaths: The Significance of Psychopathy for Our Ethical and Legal Theories. In Charles Wolfe (ed.), Brain Theory: Essays in Critical Neurophilosophy. Springer. 149-170.
    The emerging neuroscience of psychopathy will have several important implications for our attempts to construct an ethical society. In this article we begin by describing the list of criteria by which psychopaths are diagnosed. We then review four competing neuropsychological theories of psychopathic cognition. The first of these models, Newman’s attentional model, locates the problem in a special type of attentional narrowing that psychopaths have shown in experiments. The second and third, Blair’s amygdala model and Kiehl’s paralimbic model represent the (...)
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. Katrina L. Sifferd (2013). Translating Scientific Evidence Into the Language of the ‘Folk’: Executive Function as Capacity-Responsibility. In Nicole A. Vincent (ed.), Legal Responsibility and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
    There are legitimate worries about gaps between scientific evidence of brain states and function (for example, as evidenced by fMRI data) and legal criteria for determining criminal culpability. In this paper I argue that behavioral evidence of capacity, motive and intent appears easier for judges and juries to use for purposes of determining criminal liability because such evidence triggers the application of commonsense psychological (CSP) concepts that guide and structure criminal responsibility. In contrast, scientific evidence of neurological processes and function (...)
    Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. Katrina Sifferd (2012). Changing the Criminal Character: Nanotechnology and Criminal Punishment. In A. Santosuosso (ed.), Proceedings of the 2011 Law and Science Young Scholars Symposium. Pavia University Press.
    This chapter examines how advances in nanotechnology might impact criminal sentencing. While many scholars have considered the ethical implications of emerging technologies, such as nanotechnology, few have considered their potential impact on crucial institutions such as our criminal justice system. Specifically, I will discuss the implications of two types of technological advances for criminal sentencing: advanced tracking devices enabled by nanotechnology, and nano-neuroscience, including neural implants. The key justifications for criminal punishment- including incapacitation, deterrence, rehabilitation, and retribution – apply very (...)
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  5. Katrina Sifferd & William Hirstein (2012). On the Criminal Culpability of Successful and Unsucessful Psychopaths. Neuroethics 6 (1):129-140.
    The psychological literature now differentiates between two types of psychopath:successful (with little or no criminal record) and unsuccessful (with a criminal record). Recent research indicates that earlier findings of reduced autonomic activity, reduced prefrontal grey matter, and compromised executive activity may only be true of unsuccessful psychopaths. In contrast, successful psychopaths actually show autonomic and executive function that exceeds that of normals, while having no difference in prefrontal volume from normals. We argue that many successful psychopaths are legally responsible for (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. William Hirstein & Katrina Sifferd (2011). The Legal Self: Executive Processes and Legal Theory. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (1):151-176.
    When laws or legal principles mention mental states such as intentions to form a contract, knowledge of risk, or purposely causing a death, what parts of the brain are they speaking about? We argue here that these principles are tacitly directed at our prefrontal executive processes. Our current best theories of consciousness portray it as a workspace in which executive processes operate, but what is important to the law is what is done with the workspace content rather than the content (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. Katrina Sifferd (2011). Neuroethics. In Vilayanur Ramachandran (ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, 2e. Elsevier.
    According to Adina Roskies, the neuroscience of ethics is concerned with a neuroscientific understanding of the brain processes that underpin moral judgment and behavior. The ethics of neuroscience, on the other hand, includes the potential impact advances in neuroscience may have on social, moral and philosophical ideas and institutions, as well as the ethical principles that should guide brain research, treatment of brain disease, and cognitive enhancement. This entry discusses these different aspects of neuroethics, with a special focus on the (...)
    Translate to English
    | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  8. Katrina Sifferd (2008). Nanotechology and the Attribution of Responsibility. Nanotechnology, Law and Business 5 (2):177.
  9. Katrina Sifferd (2007). Can Baird's View of Adolescent Morality Inform Adolescent Criminal Justice Policy? In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Philosophy Vol. 3: The Neuroscience of Morality.
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  10. Katrina L. Sifferd (2006). In Defense of the Use of Commonsense Psychology in the Criminal Law. Law and Philosophy 25 (6):571 - 612.
    The criminal law depends upon 'commonsense' or 'folk' psychology, a seemingly innate theory used by all normal human beings as a means to understand and predict other humans' behavior. This paper discusses two major types of arguments that commonsense psychology is not a true theory of human behavior, and thus should be eliminated and replaced. The paper argues that eliminitivist projects fail to provide evidence that commonsense psychology is a false theory, and argues that there is no need to seek (...)
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  11. Katrina Sifferd (2003). Making Sense of Modern Darwinism. Heredity 90:418.
    Despite the high profile of evolutionary explanations of human behaviour, their status remains highly disputed. Are all evolutionary explanations of human behaviour sensational 'just so' stories, or is there a proper science of sociobiology? Sense and Nonsense provides an answer to this question by assessing the legitimacy of a range of evolutionary approaches to human behaviour.
    No categories
    Translate to English
    | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
Is this list right?