Defending psychopathy: an argument from values and moral responsibility

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (1):7-16 (2014)
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Abstract

How psychopaths and their capacity for moral action are viewed is not only philosophically interesting but is also important and relevant for policy. The philosophical discussion of psychopathy has focussed upon the psychological faculties that are prerequisites for moral responsibility and empirical findings regarding psychopathy that are relevant to philosophical accounts of moral understanding and motivation. However, there are legitimate worries about whether psychopathy is a robust scientific construct, and there are risks attached to reifying psychopathy or other psychiatric constructs. We defend the concept of psychopathy by pointing out the relevance of empirical studies about it for our ordinary practices of ascribing moral responsibility and folk psychological accounts of moral understanding and motivation.

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Luca Malatesti
University of Rijeka

Citations of this work

What Can Philosophers Learn from Psychopathy?Heidi L. Maibom - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):63-78.
The Kindness of Psychopaths.Zdenka Brzović, Marko Jurjako & Predrag Šustar - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):189-211.
The moral bioenhancement of psychopaths.Elvio Baccarini & Luca Malatesti - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (10):697-701.
The value-ladenness of psychopathy.Marko Jurjako & Luca Malatesti - 2022 - In Luca Malatesti, John McMillan & Predrag Šustar (eds.), Psychopathy: Its Uses, Validity and Status. Cham: Springer. pp. 215-233.
Psychopathy and Failures of Ordinary Doing.Luca Malatesti - 2014 - Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2):1138-1152.

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The myth of mental illness.Thomas S. Szasz - 2004 - In Arthur Caplan, James J. McCartney & Dominic A. Sisti (eds.), Ethics. Georgetown University Press. pp. 43--50.
The Mask of Sanity.Hervey Cleckley - 1976 - C.V. Mosby Co..

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