Neuroethics 9 (2):129-136 (2016)

Andrew Vierra
Georgia State University
Neil Levy argues that the degree to which psychopaths ought to be held blameworthy for their actions depends on the extent to which they are capable of mental time travel—episodic memory and episodic foresight. Levy claims that deficits in mental time travel prevent psychopaths from fully appreciating what it is to be a person, and, without this understanding, we can at best hold psychopaths blameworthy for harming non-persons. In this paper, I build upon and clarify various aspects of Levy’s view. Specifically, I begin by outlining the neurobiological data on mental time travel, and I argue that psychopaths, or at least some psychopaths, appear to have the deficits Levy ascribes to them. I then expand upon the legal implications of his argument by using an analogy between juveniles and psychopaths to argue that the penological justification for retributive punishment against psychopaths ought to be substantially diminished.
Keywords Moral responsibility  Neil levy  Psychopathy  Personhood  Harm  Blame  Mental time travel  Episodic memory  Episodic foresight  Punishment  Neuroethics  Retribution  Juvenile justice  Miller v Alabama
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DOI 10.1007/s12152-015-9243-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Elements of Episodic Memory.Endel Tulving - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine Korsgaard - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):384-394.

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Citations of this work BETA

Memory.Kourken Michaelian & John Sutton - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Temporal Experience, Emotions and Decision Making in Psychopathy.Anja Berninger - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (4):661-677.
Psychopathy: Neurohype and Its Consequences.Jarkko Jalava & Stephanie Griffiths - 2022 - In Luca Malatesti, John McMillan & Predrag Šustar (eds.), Psychopathy: Its Uses, Validity and Status. Cham: Springer. pp. 79-98.

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