Free Will, Action and Responsibility: Philosophical and Legal Analysis
The paper provides an analysis of the main approaches to the interpretation of volitional actions in analytical legal philosophy, in the context of legal responsibility and discussions about free will. The most famous examples of the possibility of applying the neuroscience arguments in legal philosophy, in particular when assessing the effect of a volitional act performed consciously on human behavior, are considered. The paper argues that the philosophical argumentation in Gilbert Ryle's logical behaviorism can be used as a rational approach to refute neuroscience data and interpret actions correctly, in terms of legal language. In legal philosophy, the question of the applicability of legal responsibility for an offense committed by a subject is of fundamental importance. On the one hand, a state's use of coercion is aimed to support the regime of legitimacy and encourage lawful actions. However, the justifiability and adequacy of the sanctions and punishments applicable to the subjects of the offenses remain the topic of philosophical and legal discussions. To what extent may discoveries in neuroscience affect a final conclusion supported by arguments? Is there a real need to re-evaluate the degree of "freedom" of an individual in making a rational moral and legally significant choice of behavior? In the theory of legal responsibility, there are two traditional approaches to explaining the meaning of applying punishment to a person who has committed a crime or an offense. The first approach was called consequentialism, as its name suggests, the use of punishment for an offense results in the beneficial social consequences. When punishing the consequences, state intentions are aimed at preventing the illegal actions in the future and to facilitate the rehabilitation effect, which eliminates the consequences of the offense committed. The second approach , known as retributivism, is based on the need for adequate sanctions for the criminal act committed . The offender deserves a punishment, and its application sends a clear signal to society that punishment is inevitable, and it is a basic principle of the legal system.