Faculty: Dr. Jeffrey A. Schaler
Office: Ward 216
Telephone: (301) 585-5664 in Silver Spring, Md.
Office hours: (by appointment)
How do we decide when people are responsible for their behaviors? What are the social, moral, and psychiatric factors considered relevant to contemporary definitions of justice? Are public policies enhancing or undermining personal responsibility in society today? How can scientific understandings of behavior be used to absolve criminals of responsibility for their actions and deny innocent persons of their freedom and liberty?
These are the kinds of questions we seek to answer in this course. The course challenges and prepares students to address issues regarding behavioral accountability and its relationship to social conceptions of justice. Controversial issues such as the insanity defense and addiction and criminal responsibility are examined in depth. Contemporary trends in biological/genetic explanations for abnormal behavior and "mental illness" are discussed and evaluated in terms of their impact on public policy. Court cases and methods of philosophical inquiry are used to understand the role of personal responsibility for justice and public policy decisions. Lecture, discussion, and debate format.
Required Texts and Readings
Bockover, M.I. (Ed.). (1991). Rules, Rituals, and Responsibility: Essays Dedicated to Herbert Fingarette. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court.
Szasz, T. (1987). Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences. New York: Wiley.
Fingarette, H. (1979). How an alcoholism defense works under the ALI insanity test. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 2, pps. 299-322.
Fingarette, H. (1976). Disabilities of mind and criminal responsibility¬A unitary doctrine. Columbia Law Review, 76, 236- 266.
Fingarette, H. (1966). The concept of mental disease in criminal law insanity tests. The University of Chicago Law Review, 33, 229- 248.
(1993). Annual Editions Criminal Justice 93/94 Guilford, Conn.: Dushkin Publishing Group.
Course Requirements and Grades Quiz 20% Mid-term examination 30% Debate 20% Final examination 30% Total = 100%
(All grades are assigned on a numerical basis: 100 = A+, 99-91 = A, 90 = A-, 89 = B+, 88-81 = B, 80 = B-, 79 = C+, 78-71 = C, 70 = C-, etc. Debate grades are 95, 85, 75, 65, 55 only.)
A class debate will take place on November 30 and December 3. All students must participate by making at least a three-minute statement. You must submit a maximum one-page, single-spaced typed copy of your statement on the day of your presentation. Anything over one page will not be accepted. Your statement will be graded on the basis of the clarity of your presentation, organization, audience contact (eye and voice contact), and the logic of argument presented. Half of the class will participate on November 30 and the other half on December 3. This is a team project, however, you will be graded on the basis of your individual presentation and your written statement. The topic for the debate will be announced in class.
Debate team members Phone
* Clear and accurate writing will be taken into account in assigning grades, as well as participation in class discussions. Material discussed in class, or in films, and not in any of the readings, may form the basis for questions on the examinations. One grade reduction for over five class absences. Students are responsible for anything covered in class during their absence. Readings must be completed by the session to which they are assigned. Additional readings may be assigned during the course.
Academic Integrity Code
"Standards of academic conduct are set forth in the University's Academic Integrity Code. It is expected that all examinations, tests, written papers, and other assignments will be completed according to the standards set forth in this code. By registering, you have acknowledged your awareness of the Academic Integrity Code, and you are obliged to become familiar with your rights and responsibilities as defined by the Code. Violations of the Academic Integrity Code will not be treated lightly, and disciplinary action will be taken should such violations occur. Please see me if you have any questions about the academic violations described in the Code in general or as they relate to particular requirements for this course."
Class Schedule Date Topic Reading August 31 Defining illness September 3 Film: "Rampage" Szasz: 1-44 September 7 Defining mental illness Szasz: 44-98 September 10 Being a mental patient Szasz: 99-132 September 14 Mental illness as metaphor Szasz: 133-215 September 17 Mental illness and intentionality Szasz: 216-236 September 21 Quiz September 24 Mental illness and responsibility Szasz: 237-278 September 28 Mental illness as strategy Szasz: 279-296 October 1 Mental illness as justification Szasz: 297-318 October 4 Mental illness as legal fiction Szasz: 319-341 October 8 Mental illness as explanation Szasz: 342-366 October 12 Review October 15 Mid-term examination October 19 Film October 22 Conspiracy and criminal responsibility Bockover/ Hasse October 26 The M'Naghten and Durham Rules Fingarette (1966 & 1976) October 29 The ALI Insanity test Fingarette (1979) November 2 Addiction and criminal responsibility Bockover/ Schoeman, Peele November 5 Rights-bearing/role-bearing Bockover/Rosemont individuals/persons November 9 Honesty with onself Bockover/Martin November 12 Self-knowledge and change Bockover/Dilman November 16 Mystical experience Bockover/Graham November 19 Review and debate preparation November 23 No class November 26 No class November 30 Class debate ¬turn in statements December 3 Class debate December 7 Contemporary issues and recommendations December 10 No class December 14 Final examination 2:10 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.
© Copyright Jeffrey A. Schaler, 1997-2002 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.