Evolutionary Theory and Psychopathy


Abstract
Psychopathy represents a unique set of personality traits including deceitfulness, lack of empathy and guilt, impulsiveness, and antisocial behavior. Most often in the literature, psychopathy is described as pathology — a disorder that has been linked to a variety of biological deficits and environmental risk factors. However, from an evolutionary perspective, psychopathy, while it could be a disorder, has been construed in the context of an adaptive strategy. In this article we will examine the strengths and weaknesses of two models suggesting that psychopathy is an adaptive strategy, and one model suggesting that it is a form of pathology resulting from accumulated mutations. Overall, we do not find that there is strong enough evidence to draw firm conclusions about one theory over another, but we highlight some areas where future research may be able to shed light on the issue.
Keywords Psychopathy  Adaptation  Pathology  Genetic  Mutation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,999
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Are Psychopaths Legally Insane?Anneli Jefferson & Katrina Sifferd - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):79-96.
Is Psychopathy a Harmful Dysfunction?Marko Jurjako - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):1-23.
Evolutionary Explanation of Psychopaths.Seungbae Park - 2013 - International Journal of Social Science Studies 1 (2):1-7.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Psychopathy a Mental Disease?Thomas Nadelhoffer & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2013 - In Nicole Vincent (ed.), Neuroscience and legal responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 229–255.
Defending PCL-R.Luca Malatesti & John McMillan - 2010 - In Luca Malatesti & John McMillan (eds.), Responsibility and Psychopathy: Interfacing Law, Psychiatry and Philosophy. Oxford University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-12-14

Total views
37 ( #229,491 of 2,266,786 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #277,939 of 2,266,786 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature