911 Psychiatry & Law - §001, Fall 2008

Categories: Legal Theory and Jurisprudence

Instructor(s) Kaplan, Leonard

Jurisprudence generally looks at the individual human being as a juridical person. As such, individuals are fungible. But very often in both public law and civil law conflicts, the law requires a more fulsome definition of what it means to be a human being. This course examines the philosophical and psychological aspects of how best to define human beings for legal analysis. We look at the philosophical relationship between cognition and emotion. We also look at the extent to which new and old psychological entities are important to legal proceedings in both the criminal law and in civil process. More particularly, we look at certain "disorders" and "syndromes", including depression and what we know about it, as well as post traumatic stress disorder and our contemporary understanding of its relation to various aspects of juridical concerns, e.g., battered wives syndrome, workers' compensation. Additionally, the course generally considers the use and limits of the expert. Psychiatrists were perhaps the first experts to become involved in legal proceedings in the United States; as such, psychiatry has become paradigmatic of expertise in conflict resolution.

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