Psychopathy, ethical perception, and moral culpability

Neuroethics 3 (2):135-150 (2009)
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Abstract

I argue that emotional sensitivity (or insensitivity) has a marked negative influence on ethical perception. Diminished capacities of ethical perception, in turn, mitigate what we are morally responsible for while lack of such capacities may altogether eradicate responsibility. Impairment in ethical perception affects responsibility by affecting either recognition of or reactivity to moral reasons. It follows that emotional insensitivity (together with its attendant impairment in ethical perception) bears saliently on moral responsibility. Since one distinguishing mark of the psychopath is emotional insensitivity, emotional insensitivity and the resulting impairment in moral perception either excuses the psychopath from moral culpability or moderates the degree to which he is culpable.

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Ishtiyaque Haji
University of Calgary

References found in this work

Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York,: Schocken Books.
The nature of morality: an introduction to ethics.Gilbert Harman - 1977 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The responsibility of the psychopath revisited.Neil Levy - 2007 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):pp. 129-138.
The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York,: Routledge.

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