The Responsibility of the Psychopathic Offender

Abstract
In this paper, I argue that the responsibility-affecting defect of psychopaths is their incapacity for responding to acts within relationships. I begin with Piers Benn's account of psychopaths as incapable of forming participant reactive attitudes. Benn argues that participant reactive attitudes are essentially communicative and the ability to form and understand participant reactive attitudes is crucial to being a member of the moral community. Against Benn, I argue, though participant reactive attitudes can be communicative, they are not essentially communicative. Instead, they can be simply expressive. Therefore, we must consider psychopaths members of the moral community, in Benn’s sense; however, psychopaths fail to interpret their actions as part of relationships. This inability renders punishment, as an attempt to rectify wrong relationships, inappropriate for psychopaths. Psychopaths have diminished responsibility, insofar as they have forfeited some rights by committing an offense, but are not appropriate candidates for punishment because they cannot understand its significance.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,612
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Patricia S. Greenspan (2003). Responsible Psychopaths. Philosophical Psychology 16 (3):417 – 429.
Neil Levy (2007). The Responsibility of the Psychopath Revisited. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):pp. 129-138.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-08-30

Total downloads

20 ( #83,128 of 1,098,358 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #173,312 of 1,098,358 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.