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Evolution and MoralityNOMOS LII$
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James E. Fleming and Sanford Levinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771228

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771228.001.0001

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Law and Behavioral Morality

Law and Behavioral Morality

(p.115) 4 Law and Behavioral Morality
Evolution and Morality

Nita A. Farahany

NYU Press

This chapter discusses a new brand of moral philosophy called behavioral morality, particularly as it relates to the criminal law. Behavioral morality is a form of moral reasoning that focuses on the internal proximate causes of deviant behavior to determine whether the actor is morally blameworthy for that conduct. It concludes that as science progresses to reveal the causes of human behavior, a criminal justice system based on retributivism will no longer align with moral intuitions about responsibility. The chapter then suggests that behavioral moralism may gain more traction by embracing the fundamental underpinnings of the criminal justice system, while still working to integrate scientific evidence. Finally, it opens the debate on the question of stigmatization of individuals who have scientific accounts of their behavior.

Keywords:   moral philosophy, behavioral morality, criminal law, internal proximate causes, retributivism, stigmatization, moral reasoning

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