Bioethics Bites: Hanna Pickard on Responsibility

If someone caught me shoplifting, and I was later diagnosed with kleptomania, should I be held responsible?  Should I be blamed?  There’s a growing body of knowledge in psychiatry and neuroscience about why people think and behave the way they do.  And according to one school of thought, as our knowledge expands, so the space for responsibility contracts.  Hanna Pickard is not from that school.  She believes we can, at one and the same time, diagnose a disorder and hold the person with that disorder responsible. 

Dr. Hanna Pickard is an Oxford based philosopher and therapist, and the holder of a Wellcome Trust fellowship examining the nature of responsibility and morality within personality disorder.

Listen to the interview


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