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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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Rethinking Unreasonableness

Rethinking Unreasonableness

A Comment on Nita Farahany’s “Law and Behavioral Morality”

Chapter:
(p.166) 5 Rethinking Unreasonableness
Source:
Evolution and Morality
Author(s):

Amanda C. Pustilnik

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814771228.003.0005

This chapter supports the conclusion of Professor Nita A. Farahany in the previous chapter that brain-based individuation of criminal justice is neither scientifically possible nor normatively desirable. Accordingly, Farahany suggests that the right target of analysis for scholars in behavioral morality is the typical community member, not the transgressor. Picking up from Farahany's work, this chapter speculates as to whether behavioral moralists could develop an intermediate position that focuses neither on the individual disordered offender nor on the aggregate typical person but on aggregate kinds of abnormalcy—or “unreasonableness.” Finally, it proposes that behavioral moralists will have to identify differences in morally salient perception, affect, or cognition that are stable, atypical, severe, and relevant to the particular offense a person committed.

Keywords:   criminal justice, behavioral morality, unreasonableness, cognition

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