Review of Metaphysics 52 (1):168-170 (1998)

Authors
Daniel McInerny
University of Notre Dame
Abstract
It may seem odd that our legal culture’s uneasiness with regard to the insanity defense has risen in direct proportion to advancements in the scientific understanding of insanity itself. Yet the most intriguing benefit of Daniel N. Robinson’s short history of the insanity defense is his explanation of why this is not an oddity at all. For as Robinson convincingly argues, Western legal systems at least since the seventeenth century have been influenced by theoretical accounts of insanity which have undermined the very understanding of human agency according to which those legal systems were built. The result has been a mounting incoherency in what it means for a plea of insanity to come before a court of law.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1998521139
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