Does the fact that a violent psychopath’s brain is likely to show deficits in the right ventromedial frontal cortex ‘explain’ his behaviour or is this just a description of a bad person’s brain? If it does explain it, in a causative sense, does it excuse the individual from moral responsibility? If so, can it also excuse his crimes at law? Assuming the condition could be treated, should it be? And if it were possible to screen for it, should such a person not be born?
These are the kinds of questions that Jonathan Glover addresses in this interesting and readable book, the professed aims of which are to make mental health patients seem less alien and to emphasise the role of the humane and the humanities in psychiatry. The desire to do so is utterly