Responsibility & Blame: Psychological & Legal Perspectives

October 16, 2002

We have been beset in the past year with news of grave terrorist acts and corporate malfeasance. We ask ourselves, who is to blame and how much responsibility should any person or entity bear?

Our society looks to the legal system to determine when a person or corporation is to blame for having committed bad acts. But, as the Friday, October 18, Brooklyn Law School Symposium: Responsibility & Blame: Psychological & Legal Perspectives suggests, significant psychological factors may affect the allocation of responsibility in ways that the law does not endorse or explain.

In this program, sponsored by Brooklyn Law School's Center for the Study of Law, Language & Cognition, renowned legal scholars and psychologists from around the country, including Professor John M. Darley of Princeton University and Professor Dan Kahan from Yale University, will gather at the Law School to approach the assessment of blame from a variety of perspectives. The central questions they will explore are how people conceptualize responsibility and blame, how people's emotions and attitudes affect their assessment of blame, and how these concepts make their way into our legal institutions. Responsibility and blame will be looked at in the context of criminal law, accident law and the responsibility of corporations.

The Symposium will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the Subotnick Center at Brooklyn Law School, 250 Joralemon Street.

Papers and Commentary presented at this symposium will be published in a forthcoming volume of the Brooklyn Law Review.

For further information, please contact the Office of Special Events at 718-780-7966 or to learn more about the Center for the Study of Law, Language & Cognition, visit the Web site at

Brooklyn Law School

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