Moral responsibility and the psychopath

Neuroethics 1 (3):158-166 (2008)

Authors
Walter Glannon
University of Calgary
Abstract
Psychopathy involves impaired capacity for prudential and moral reasoning due to impaired capacity for empathy, remorse, and sensitivity to fear-inducing stimuli. Brain abnormalities and genetic polymorphisms associated with these traits appear to justify the claim that psychopaths cannot be morally responsible for their behavior. Yet psychopaths are capable of instrumental reasoning in achieving their goals, which suggests that they have some capacity to respond to moral reasons against performing harmful acts and refrain from performing them. The cognitive and affective impairment of the psychopath justifies mitigated responsibility, but not excuse
Keywords Affective impairment  Cognitive impairment  Control  Excuse  Mitigation  Moral responsibility  Psychopathy  Reasons–responsiveness
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DOI 10.1007/s12152-008-9012-x
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Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Center for the Study of Language and Information.

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