Document Detail

Judging mens rea: the tension between folk concepts and legal concepts of intentionality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14502689     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Concepts such as intention, motive, or forethought have generated a great deal of doubt, dispute, and confusion in legal decision making. Here we argue for an empirically based strategy of defining and using such mens rea concepts. Instead of the standard approach of settling these concepts by theoretical argument and the debaters' own intuitions, we rely on social psychological research to determine the meaning and significance of folk concepts concerning mens rea. We demonstrate the reliable and systematic use of people's concept of intentionality, contrast it with the bewildering variety of related legal concepts, and apply the folk model of intentionality to debated distinctions between intention and intentionality, desire and intention, and belief and intention. This folk-conceptual approach promises clarity of mens rea concepts and a reconciliation of the legal and layperson's view of human behavior.
Bertram F Malle; Sarah E Nelson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Legal Cases; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioral sciences & the law     Volume:  21     ISSN:  0735-3936     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav Sci Law     Publication Date:  2003  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-09-22     Completed Date:  2004-03-04     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8404861     Medline TA:  Behav Sci Law     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  563-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Department of Psychology, 1227 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1227, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Criminal Law*
Criminal Psychology / legislation & jurisprudence*
Psychological Theory*
Social Responsibility

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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