Mala Chatterjee on the Role of Volition in Copyright
In this episode, Mala Chatterjee, a JD/PhD student in philosophy at New York University, fellow at the NYU Law School Engelberg Center for Innovation, Law, and Policy, and visiting fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project, discusses her article "Minds, Machines, and the Law: The Case of Volition in Copyright Law," which she co-authored with Jeanne Fromer of NYU Law, and which will be published in the Columbia Law Review. Chatterjee begins by explaining why mental states and the concept of volition matter in the law. She describes the role of volition in copyright law, and how the presence of absence of volition may affect the culpability of an action under copyright law. She outlines how philosophers of mind distinguish between conscious and functional mental states, and how thinking about mental states functionally may affect our understanding of how to treat the actions of machines under copyright law. And she reflects on how thinking about mental states and volition from a functional perspective may affect how we think about legal doctrine more generally. Chatterjee is on Twitter at @nirrvala.