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Various authors have argued that progress in the neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric sciences might threaten the commonsense understanding of how the mind generates behavior, and, as a consequence, it might also threaten the commonsense ways of attributing moral responsibility, if not the very notion of moral responsibility. In the case of actions that result in undesirable outcomes (e.g., someone being harmed), the commonsense conception—which is reflected in sophisticated ways in the legal conception—tells us that there are circumstances in which the agent is entirely and fully responsible for the bad outcome (and deserves to be punished accordingly) and circumstances in which the agent is not at all responsible for the bad outcome (and thereby the agent does not deserve to be punished).
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