The sociopath and the ring of gyges: A problem in rhetorical and moral philosophy

Philosophy and Rhetoric 43 (3):201-221 (2010)
Abstract
Moral philosophy in all its contemporary forms, whether consequentialist, formalist, contractarian, utilitarian, or virtue ethicist, presumes the possibility of formulating principles of conduct that apply universally to all human beings. Standard exceptions are infants and young children, persons who are clinically insane, and persons with reduced mental capacity. These exceptions are recognized by all modern systems of morality and law. The inability to distinguish right from wrong, due to immature age, mental disorganization, or insufficient intelligence is grounds to exempt any given person from moral responsibility and moral agency.Human beings not bound by such conditions are distinguished by their capacity ..
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