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Stephen J. Morse

Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law; Professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry; Associate Director, Center for Neuroscience & Society

Stephen Morse

Stephen J. Morse works on problems of individual responsibility and agency. Morse has published numerous interdisciplinary articles and chapters and has co-edited collections, including (with A. Roskies) A Primer on Criminal Law and Neuroscience and (with L.Katz & M. Continue reading…


  • Criminal Law
  • Mental Health Law


CRIME AND CULPABILITY: A THEORY OF CRIMINAL LAW (2009) (contributing author, with Larry Alexander & Kimberly Kessler Ferzan).
[Available Here]

FOUNDATIONS OF CRIMINAL LAW. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999; Foundation Press, 2000 (co-edited with L. Katz & M.S. Moore).
[Available Here]

Articles and Book Chapters

Neurohype and the Law: A Cautionary Tale, in CASTING LIGHT ON THE DARK SIDE OF BRAIN IMAGING (Amir Raz & Robert Thibault eds., Elsevier 2019).

Criminal Law and Addiction, in THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE OF ADDICTION 540-53 (Hanna Pickard and Serge H. Ahmed eds., 2019).

Involuntary Competence in United States Criminal Law, in FITNESS TO PLEAD: INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES (Ronnie Mackay & Warren Brookbanks eds., Oxford 2018).

The Neuroscientific Non-Challenge to Meaning, Morals, and Purpose, in NEUROEXISTENTIALISM: MEANING, MORALS, AND PURPOSE IN THE AGE OF NEUROSCIENCE 333-357 (Gregg D. Caruso and Owen Flanagan eds., 2018).

The Promise of Neuroscience for Law: Hope or Hype?, in THE PALGRAVE HANDBOOK OF PHILOSOPHY AND PUBLIC POLICY 77-96 (David Boonin ed., 2018).


Neuroscience in Forensic Contexts: Ethical Concerns, in ETHICS CHALLENGES IN FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY AND PSYCHOLOGY PRACTICE (Ezra E. H. Griffith ed., Columbia 2018).

Brief of Amici Curiae of 11 Addiction Experts in Support of Appellee, Commonwealth v. Eldred, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (September 2017) (No. SJC-12279) (with Gene M. Heyman, Scott O. Lilienfeld, & Sally L. Satel).

How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders? (MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience, February 2017) (with B J. Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim A. Taylor-Thompson, Anthony D. Wagner).

Addiction, Choice and Criminal Law, in ADDICTION AND CHOICE: RETHINKING THE RELATIONSHIP (Nick Heather & Gabriel Segal eds., Oxford U.P. 2017).

Law, Responsibility, and the Sciences of the Brain/Mind, in OXFORD HANDBOOK OF LAW, REGULATION, AND TECHNOLOGY (Roger Brownsword, Eloise Scotford, & Karen Yeung ed., Oxford 2017).

NeuroEthics: NeuroLaw, in Oxford Handbooks Online (Sanford Goldberg ed., February 2017).

Predicting the Knowledge-Recklessness Distinction in the Human Brain (February 9, 2017). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016 (with Iris Vilares, Michael Wesley, Woo-Young Ahn, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Gideon Yaffe, Terry Lohrenz, Read Montague).

Moore on the Mind, in LEGAL, MORAL, AND METAPHYSICAL TRUTHS: THE PHILOSOPHY OF MICHAEL S. MOORE (Kimberly Kessler Ferzan & Stephen J. Morse eds., Oxford 2016)

Actions Speak Louder than Images: The Use of Neuroscientific Evidence in Criminal Cases, J. L. & BIOSCI. (2016).

Criminal Law and Common Sense: An Essay on the Perils and Promise of Neuroscience, 99 MARQ. L. REV. 39 (2015).

Neuroprediction: New Technology, Old Problems, 8 BIOETHICA FORUM 128 (2015).

Neuroscience, Free Will, and Criminal Responsibility, in FREE WILL AND THE BRAIN: NEUROSCIENTIFIC, PHILOSOPHICAL, AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVES (Walter Glannon ed., Cambridge 2015).

Law and Neuroscience: Recommendations Submitted to the President's Bioethics Commission, 1 J. L. & BIOSCI. 224 (2014). (with Owen D. Jones, Richrd J. Bonnie, B. J. Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Read Montague, Marcus E. Raichie, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim A. Taylor-Thompson, Anthony D. Wagner, Gideon Yaffe)

A Good Enough Reason: Addiction, Agency and Criminal Responsibility, 56 INQUIRY 490 (2013).

Abolition of the Insanity Defense Violates Due Process, 41 J. AM. ACAD. PSYCHIATRY & L. 488 (2013) (with Richard J. Bonnie).

The Uneasy Entente Between Legal Insanity and Mens Rea: Beyond Clark v. Arizona, 97 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 1071 (2007).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

Against the Received Wisdom: Why Should the Criminal Justice System Give Kids a Break? (July 2, 2019), U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-29; CRIM. L. & PHIL. (forthcoming). (forthcoming)
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Research Areas

  • Criminal Law
  • Mental Health Law
  • Neuroscience and Law


Penn Law - Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law (1988-); Professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry (1991-); Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (1990-92)

USC - Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law (1982-88); Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (1979-80); Professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences (1979-88); Professor of Psychology (1982-88); Associate Professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences (1977-79)

Visiting Professor - California Institute of Technology (Law and Social Science); Cardozo; Georgetown; Virginia

Trustee, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, 1995-2004


  • Criminal Law
  • Mental Health Law
  • Freedom & Responsibility
  • Perspectives on Cognitive Neuroscience: Mind, Brain and Society (co-taught in the College's Pilot Program)

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