Defending psychopathy: an argument from values and moral responsibility

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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References found in this work

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 Myth of Mental Illness.Thomas S. Szasz - 1963 - Ethics 73 (2):145-147.

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