On Responsibility in Science and Law
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Respon’sible, liable to be called to account or render satisfaction: answerable: capable of dis-charging duty: able to pay.2 The old Chambers’s dictionary gives a behavioristic view of re-sponsibility: in terms of action, not thought or belief. “Lust in the heart” is not equated to lust in flagrante. It is this view I shall explore in this paper, rather than the more subjective notion of moral responsibility, as in “I feel moral responsibility (i.e., guilt) for not doing anything to save the Tutsis [Hutus, ethnic Albanians, etc.].”...
CitationStaddon, J. (1999) On responsibility in science and law. Social Philosophy and Policy, 16, 146-174. Reprinted in Responsibility. E. F. Paul, F. D. Miller, & J. Paul (eds.), 1999. Cambridge University Press, pp. 146-174.
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James B. Duke Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience
Until my retirement in 2007, my laboratory did experimental research on learning and adaptive behavior, mostly with animals: pigeons, rats, fish, parakeets. We were particularly interested in timing and memory, feeding regulation, habituation and the ways in which pigeons and rats adapt to reward schedules. The aim is to arrive at simple models for learning that can help to identify the underlying neural mechanisms. I continue to do theoretical and historical work on the power law in