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The Insanity Defense

Hardback

The Insanity Defense

A Philosophical Analysis

9781800379848 Edward Elgar Publishing
Wojciech Załuski, Professor of Law, Department of Philosophy of Law and Legal Ethics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Publication Date: November 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80037 984 8 Extent: c 160 pp
This unique book provides a versatile exploration of the philosophical foundations of the insanity defense. It examines the connections between numerous philosophical–anthropological views and analyses different methods for regulating the criminal responsibility of the mentally ill. Placing its philosophical analysis firmly in the context of science, it draws on the fields of cognitive psychology, evolutionary theory and criminology. In this thought-provoking book, Wojciech Załuski argues that the way in which we resolve the problem of the criminal responsibility of the mentally ill depends on two factors: the assumed conception of responsibility and the account of mental illness.

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This unique book provides a versatile exploration of the philosophical foundations of the insanity defense. It examines the connections between numerous philosophical–anthropological views and analyses different methods for regulating the criminal responsibility of the mentally ill. Placing its philosophical analysis firmly in the context of science, it draws on the fields of cognitive psychology, evolutionary theory and criminology.

In this thought-provoking book, Wojciech Załuski argues that the way in which we resolve the problem of the criminal responsibility of the mentally ill depends on two factors: the assumed conception of responsibility and the account of mental illness. Offering a systematic and in-depth analysis of the influence of anti-psychiatry on thinking about the insanity defense and legislation, the author invokes the personalist view of human nature, being rational and endowed with free will, to justify an original normative proposal concerning the construction of the insanity defense.

The Insanity Defense will be of primary interest to scholars of criminal law and justice, legal theory and legal philosophy as well as legal practitioners, policy makers, psychiatrists and psychologists engaged with this topic.
Critical Acclaim
‘Wojciech Załuski’s work focusing on the insanity defense, one of the classic problems of criminal law, is an excellent demonstration of how to impartially explain the presumptive underpinnings of this field, an approach which is often absent within ordinary approaches to legal argumentation. The book will be of great assistance for every judge, attorney and professor of criminal law, helping to deepen reflections on the problem of the insanity defense.’
– Marek Zirk-Sadowski, University of Lodz, Poland

‘Wojciech Załuski has written a profound book, in which he provides the legal excuse of the insanity defense with philosophical underpinnings, starting from the assumption that human beings have a free will. His argument provides deeper understanding for those who share his starting point, and a delineation of what precisely they must reject for those who do not share it. Highly recommended reading for both defenders and deniers of free will.’
– Jaap Hage, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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