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David Birks [11]David Rhys Birks [1]
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David Birks
University of Hong Kong
  1. Punishing Intentions and Neurointerventions.David Birks & Alena Buyx - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 9 (3):133-143.
    How should we punish criminal offenders? One prima facie attractive punishment is administering a mandatory neurointervention—interventions that exert a physical, chemical or biological effect on the brain in order to diminish the likelihood of some forms of criminal offending. While testosterone-lowering drugs have long been used in European and US jurisdictions on sex offenders, it has been suggested that advances in neuroscience raise the possibility of treating a broader range of offenders in the future. Neurointerventions could be a cheaper, and (...)
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  2.  21
    Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice.David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Traditional means of crime prevention, such as incarceration and psychological rehabilitation, are frequently ineffective. This collection considers how crime preventing neurointerventions could present a more humane alternative but, on the other hand, how neuroscientific developments and interventions may threaten fundamental human values.
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  3.  74
    Introduction.Thomas Douglas & David Birks - 2018 - In David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.), Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Crime-preventing neurointerventions (CPNs) are increasingly being used or advocated for crime prevention. There is increasing use of testosterone-lowering agents to prevent recidivism in sexual offenders, and strong political and scientific interest in developing pharmaceutical treatments for psychopathy and anti-social behaviour. Recent developments suggest that we may ultimately have at our disposal a range of drugs capable of suppressing violent aggression, and it is not difficult to imagine possible applications of such drugs in crime prevention. But should neurointerventions be used in (...)
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  4.  20
    Neuroscience and Social Problems: The Case of Neuropunishment.Alena Buyx & David Birks - 2018 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 27 (4):628-634.
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  5.  15
    Paternalism as Punishment.David Birks - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (1):35-52.
    In this article, I argue that even if we hold that at least some paternalistic behaviour is impermissible when directed towards innocent persons, in certain cases, the same behaviour is permissible when directed towards criminal offenders. I also defend the claim that in some cases it is morally preferable to behave paternalistically towards offenders as an alternative to traditional methods of punishment. I propose that the reason paternalistic behaviour is sometimes permissible towards an offender is the same reason that inflicting (...)
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  6.  41
    How Wrong is Paternalism?David Birks - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (2):136-163.
    In this paper, I argue against the commonly held view that paternalism is all things considered wrong when it interferes with a person’s autonomy. I begin by noting that the plausibility of this view rests on the assumption that there is a morally relevant difference in the normative reasons concerning an intervention in a person’s self-regarding actions and an intervention in his other-regarding actions. I demonstrate that this assumption cannot be grounded by wellbeing reasons, and that autonomy-based reasons of non-interference (...)
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  7.  50
    Sex, Love, and Paternalism.David Birks - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):257-270.
    Paternalistic behaviour directed towards a person’s informed and competent decisions is often thought to be morally impermissible. This view is supported by what we can call the Anti-Paternalism Principle. While APP might seem plausible when employed to show the wrongness of paternalism by the state, there are some cases of paternalistic behaviour between private, informed, and competent individuals where APP seems mistaken. This raises a difficulty for supporters of APP. Either they need to reject APP to accommodate our intuitions in (...)
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  8.  19
    Two Ways to Frustrate a Desire.David Birks & Thomas Douglas - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (3):417-434.
    In this paper, we considered several variants of the internal-external principle (IEP), and showed that each was susceptible to counterexamples. In the final section of the paper, we showed that our weakening of IEP has significant implications for the wrongness of interferences in the Practical Cases. We showed that on Conditionalized Autonomy Variant, many instances of the Practical Cases do not have special wrongness. Those who hold that interferences in these Practical Cases are particularly morally problematic even when the altered (...)
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  9.  33
    Moral Status and the Wrongness of Paternalism.David Birks - 2014 - Social Theory and Practice 40 (3):483-498.
    In this paper, I consider the view that paternalism is wrong when it demeans or diminishes the paternalizee's moral status. I argue that we should reject the Moral Status Argument because it is both too narrow and too broad. It is too narrow because it cannot account for the wrongness of some of the most objectionable paternalistic interventions, namely, strong paternalistic interventions. It is too broad because it is unable to distinguish between wrongful paternalistic acts that are plausibly considered more (...)
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  10.  12
    Can Neurointerventions Communicate Censure? (And So What If They Can’T?).David Birks - 2018 - In David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.), Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    According to some philosophers, a necessary condition of morally permissible punishment is that it communicates deserved censure for the offender’s wrongdoing. The author calls this the Communicative Condition of punishment. The chapter considers whether the use of mandatory crime-preventing neurointerventions is compatible with the Communicative Condition. The author argues that it is not. If we accept the Communicative Condition, it follows that it is impermissible to administer mandatory neurointerventions on offenders as punishment. The author then considers whether it is permissible (...)
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  11.  69
    Wellbeing, Schizophrenia and Experience Machines.David Rhys Birks - 2013 - Bioethics 27 (2):81-88.
    In the USA and England and Wales, involuntary treatment for mental illness is subject to the constraint that it must be necessary for the health or safety of the patient, if he poses no danger to others. I will argue against this necessary condition of administering treatment and propose that the category of individuals eligible for involuntary treatment should be extended. I begin by focusing on the common disorder of schizophrenia and proceed to demonstrate that it can be a considerable (...)
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  12.  1
    Neuroscience, Ethics, and Criminal Punishment: An Introduction.David Birks & Frej Klem Thomsen - 2019 - Routledge.
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