Michael Pardo and Dennis Paterson have posted the preface to a new work that seeks to gain conceptual clarity over the use of legal terms in neuroscience, and vice versa. The book, titled “Minds, Brains, and Law: The Conceptual Foundations of Law and Neuroscience “(Oxford University Press, 2015), considers some of the commentary on the book and , they attempt to clarify their position in the ever-growing field of law and neuroscience. In the posted seven page preface, they write:
“The claims we make in this book about the importance of conceptual clarity for law and neuroscience have generated reactions from some commentators who have misunderstood the nature of our arguments. These reactions concern the relationship between the conceptual issues we identity and empirical investigations of the brain. In order to clarify this relationship, we want to emphasize two general points, one theoretical and one practical.”
While conceptual clarity is always a virtue to be praised in scholarship, I wonder whether what is must need is more analytic philosophy. It seems to me that phenomenology, particularly Merleau Ponty’s version of it, has useful insights into the project of neuroscience and law.