‘Drugs That Make You Feel Bad’? Remorse-Based Mitigation and Neurointerventions

Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (3):499-522 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
In many jurisdictions, an offender’s remorse is considered to be a relevant factor to take into account in mitigation at sentencing. The growing philosophical interest in the use of neurointerventions in criminal justice raises an important question about such remorse-based mitigation: to what extent should technologically facilitated remorse be honoured such that it is permitted the same penal significance as standard instances of remorse? To motivate this question, we begin by sketching a tripartite account of remorse that distinguishes cognitive, affective and motivational elements of remorse. We then describe a number of neurointerventions that might plausibly be used to enhance abilities that are relevant to these different elements of remorse. Having described what we term the ‘moral value’ view of the justification of remorse-based mitigation, we then consider whether using neurointerventions to facilitate remorse would undermine its moral value, and thus make it inappropriate to honour such remorse in the criminal justice system. We respond to this question by claiming that the form of moral understanding that is incorporated into a genuinely remorseful response grounds remorse’s moral value. In view of this claim, we conclude by arguing that neurointerventions need not undermine remorse’s moral value on this approach, and that the remorse that such interventions might facilitate could also be authentic to the recipient of the neurointerventions that we discuss.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-09-17
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Can Social Interaction Constitute Social Cognition?De Jaegher, Hanne; Di Paolo, Ezequiel & Gallagher, Shaun
Does the Autistic Child Have a “Theory of Mind”?Baron-Cohen, Simon; Leslie, Alan M. & Frith, Uta

View all 48 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
101 ( #32,992 of 50,091 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #38,100 of 50,091 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.