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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

USC Professor Gideon Daniel Yaffe Will Speak Nov. 3 on Criminal Responsibility & Neuroscience

University of Southern California Professor Gideon Daniel Yaffe will deliver a Dean’s Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, at Yale Law School. The lecture is titled “Criminal Responsibility & Neuroscience: The Absurd, the Overstated, and the Potentially Useful (someday, maybe).” It will begin at 12 noon in the Faculty Lounge. Those planning to attend should RSVP to Marianne.dietz@yale.edu by Oct. 26. Lunch will be provided.

“Recent neuroscientific discoveries, fueled by exciting technological developments in brain imaging, are thought by many to be of deep significance to our practices of assigning criminal responsibility to defendants,” said Professor Yaffe. “Through discussion of several neuroscientific experiments, I will distinguish tempting but entirely unwarranted conclusions from partially supported conclusions that may turn out to be false, and describe a type of neuroscientific experiment that might be genuinely useful.”

Gideon Yaffe is professor of philosophy and law at the University of Southern California, where he teaches criminal law and a variety of philosophy courses. While his current research is primarily in the philosophy of criminal law, he is a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Law and Neuroscience Project and collaborates with several neuroscientists to devise experiments that aim to be of legal and philosophical significance. With support from the Mellon Foundation, he spent the 2009-2010 academic year as a neuroeconomics student at Caltech. His most recent book, “Attempts” (Oxford, 2010), concerns the philosophical foundations of the law governing attempted crimes.

He holds an A.B. in philosophy from Harvard and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford.