Chapter

Considering Pathological Altruism in the Law from Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Neuroscience Perspectives

Michael L. Perlin

in Pathological Altruism

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199738571
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918669 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738571.003.0121
Considering Pathological Altruism in the Law from Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Neuroscience Perspectives

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Therapeutic jurisprudence presents a new model for assessing law’s role as a therapeutic (or antitherapeutic) agent. Legal scholars have also recently turned their attention to the relationship between neuroscience and the law, mostly, but not exclusively, in the contexts of criminal law and procedure. This chapter considers the topics of organ donation law and the law of cultural defenses, especially in the context of battered spouse cases from both of these perspectives. It concludes that therapeutic jurisprudence and neuroimaging are valuable tools for determining whether such acts are pathological, altruistic, or pathologically altruistic. These tools may help illuminate our deeper understanding of these issues, and give us insights into why people engage in such actions even when appearing self-defeating or self-destructive.

Keywords: altruism; competency; criminal procedure; cultural defence; dignity; evidence; organ donation; therapeutic jurisprudence; voice

Chapter.  10754 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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