Gideon Yaffe

Gideon Yaffe

Fellow: Awarded 2015

Field of Study: Law

Competition: US & Canada


Gideon Yaffe is a professor at Yale Law School, where he teaches criminal law and the philosophy of law. He also holds appointments in Yale’s philosophy and psychology departments. In recent years, he has been writing primarily about criminal responsibility and how best to understand it in light of philosophical thought about the nature of agency, freedom and moral responsibility, and in light of empirical discoveries in psychology and neuroscience. While his PhD is in philosophy (from Stanford), fellowships of various sorts while working as a philosophy professor helped him to receive some legal training (from USC) and some training in neuroscience (from CalTech). Currently, in addition to writing philosophical articles and books, he collaborates with several neuroscientists on experiments aiming to be of relevance to the criminal law, and particularly to the criminal law’s efforts to sort people on the basis of their different degrees of responsibility for wrongful, and often very harmful, behavior.