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We are pleased to announce the topic of the 2018 issue of our journal:


The term "neurolaw" was introduced in the 1990s (Taylor, Harp and Elliott, 1991) to name the emerging interdisciplinary area of research aimed at exploring the possible effects of achievements in neuroscience on the traditional legal systems and legal practices of democratic countries. Neurolaw was born in the US, but has been slowly spreading throughout the rest of the world (Spranger, 2012).

Since its inception, the research area of neurolaw has spawned numerous controversies which still divide philosophers, neuroscientists, and legal scholars. One of the most heated debates is centered around the question "Should we change current legal systems in order to make them compatible with the scientific view of human nature provided by contemporary neuroscience?" On the one side of this debate are those who believe that the existing legal systems are based on outdated concepts and must undergo significant changes, prompted by the latest findings in neurobiology (David Eagleman). On the other side are critics of neurolaw who insist that the legal systems should not be transformed under the pressure of neuroscientific discoveries, insofar as rules and standards in law are essentially dependent on descriptions and explanations of behavior in folk-psychological terms (Stephen Morse).

The central debate about the relevance of neuroscience to law has raised additional issues which many think are of no less importance. On the one hand, there are practical questions about the best way to prepare the neuroscientist for the courtroom (Jones, et al. 2013), or about the type of neuroscientific evidence that may be admitted in court (e.g. Keckler, 2005). On the other hand, there are philosophical questions concerning the impact of neuroscientific findings on the problem of free will and the related notion of legal responsibility (Greene and Cohen, 2004), and on the mind-brain problem and its relevance to the question of whether law should stick to folk-psychological accounts of behavior (Glannon, 2009).

The aim of this special issue of the Balkan Journal of Philosophy is to investigate the current state of debates on neurolaw, and to assess plausible perspectives for the future development of this new and socially significant interdisciplinary area of research. Therefore, we call for papers addressing, but not limited to, the following topics:

- The current state of neurolaw and the debates on it in different countries;
- New and promising lines of research in the field of neurolaw;
- The roles of different disciplines in neurolaw (viz. psychology, psychiatry, computer science, social science, philosophy, etc.);
- The main neuroscientific challenges to traditional legal systems and practices;
- Ways in which current legal systems could benefit from neuroscience;
- Types of neuroscientific evidence admissible in court;
- Whether law essentially depends on folk-psychological accounts of behavior;
- Neurolaw, free will, and legal responsibility;
- Neurolaw and the mind-brain problem.

Submitted papers should not exceed 8,000 words (including references, a short abstract of about 150 words, and a short list of keywords). Papers should be sent to the journal’s email address at:

The deadline for papers is the end of November 2017  This special issue will appear in 2018.


Glannon, W. 2009. Our brains are not us. Bioethics, 23(6), pp.321-329.

Greene, J. and Cohen, J. 2004. For the Law, Neuroscience Changes Nothing and Everything. Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences. 359(1451), pp.1775-1785.

Jones, O., Wagner, A., Faigman, D. and Raichle, M. 2013. Neuroscientists in court. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(10), pp.730-736.

Keckler, C.N. 2005. Cross-examining the Brain: A Legal Analysis of Neural Imaging for Credibility Impeachment. Hastings LJ, 57, pp.509-556.

Spranger, T. ed. 2012. International Neurolaw: A Comparative Analysis. Berlin: Springer.

Taylor, J., Harp, J. and Elliott T. 1991. Neuropsychologists and Neurolawyers. Neuropsychology, 5(4), pp.293-305.


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