The Neuroscience of Moral Agency (Or: How I Learned to Love Determinism and Still Respect Myself in the Morning) | University of Oxford

The Neuroscience of Moral Agency (Or: How I Learned to Love Determinism and Still Respect Myself in the Morning)

Speaker
Dr William Casebeer
Event date
Event time
16:00 - 17:30
Venue
Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 3BD
Venue details

Lecture Theatre

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Free
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Required

The findings of neuroscience are often used to undermine traditional assumptions about the nature of human agency. In this talk, I sketch out a compatibilist position which leverages a neo-Aristotelian concept of “critical control distinctions”—rather than talking about whether agents freely will actions, a more consilient vocabulary asks whether agents were in control or out of control when the action was taken. A plausible neurobiological determinism can save what is worth saving about our traditional notions of responsibility and also points toward a twenty-first century research agenda which coevolves legal and moral norms about responsibility with neuroscientific critical control capacities.