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By Alf Ross

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Note that, as one compares mentes reae from most to least culpable, one finds that what distinguishes each pair of adjacent levels is different. Knowingly differs from purposely in that the actor who only knowingly This taxonomy of mental states is advanced by the Model Penal Code (MPC), which is a proposed code of criminal law that has been highly influential in the United States, although this hierarchy is by no means limited to MPC jurisdictions. 02(2) (Official Draft and Revised Comments 1985).

57, 83 (2010). 54 22 The Mind of the Criminal to properly navigate his way through said social world given his subjective understanding of it. The operative word here is properly. Properly may mean that one’s subjective understanding is reflective of objective reality; alternatively, it may be defined according to the degree of success one achieves in realizing desired outcomes. Another conceptualization articulates that one’s mental functioning is proper if it lends itself to adaptation. For the purpose of identifying the meaning of rationality in the relation between law and the citizens it governs, all three of these definitions apply.

Drawing from social-cognitive science, this volume intends to illustrate exactly this point. Further, it is important to recognize that much€– that is, the vast majority€– of the science that would test hypotheses related to pressing normative issues in law has yet to be conducted. This is not to say that there is not considerable science that has already been carried out from which to draw. If there were not, there would be insufficient reason and foundation for this volume. Present purposes are thus twofold: (1) to illustrate linkages between social cognitive science and criminal jurisprudence and law; and (2) to explore, at a theoretical level, additional possible connections that may be informed if the proper scientific work were to be executed.

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