But the information concerning what he was doing was not broadly available to his mind. That’s important, because he wasn’t able to control his behaviour in the light of all his beliefs. He responded automatically, without being able to ask himself whether he valued what he was doing.
A whole range of information which would normally have stopped him (screams, the sight of blood, his mother-in-law’s terrified face) couldn’t interact with the mechanisms causing his actions.
The Canadian court found Parks not guilty on the charge of murder (an acquittal later upheld by the Supreme Court). I think they were right to do so.
Neuroscience provides evidence that in the absence of consciousness, we can’t control our behaviour in the light of our values. And that’s a good reason to excuse us.
The number of neurolaw cases rose from 100 to 250 a year over the eight-year survey. In 2005, neuroscience appeared in 30 felony cases that did not involve homicide. That number rose to more than 100 in 2012.
Philosophy may someday dissolve into psychology and psychology into neurology, but since the lesson of neuro is that thoughts change brains as much as brains thoughts, the reduction may not reduce much that matters. As Montaigne wrote, we are always double in ourselves. Or, as they say on the Enterprise, it takes all kinds to run a starship.
Face-to-face diplomacy has long been the lynchpin of international politics, yet it has largely been dismissed as irrelevant in theories of cooperation and conflict—as “cheap talk” because leaders have incentives to dissemble. However, diplomats and leaders have argued for years that there is often no substitute for personally meeting a counterpart to hash out an agreement. This article argues that face-to-face diplomacy provides a signaling mechanism thatincreases the likelihood of cooperation. Face-to-face meetings allow individuals to transmit information and empathize with each other, thereby reducing uncertainty, even when they have strong incentives to distrust the other. The human brain has discrete architecture and processes devoted to parsing others’ intentions via cues in face-to-face interaction. These processes enable actors to directly access the intentions of others with a higher degree of certainty than economic and gametheoretic models of bargaining predict.