Journal of Moral Education 38 (1):75-91 (2009)

Abstract
Philosophical and psychological opinion is divided over whether moral sensitivity, understood as the ability to pick out a situation's morally salient features, necessarily involves emotional engagement. This paper seeks to offer insight into this question. It reasons that if moral sensitivity does draw significantly on affective capacities of response, then moral insensitivity should be characteristic of psychopathy, a diagnostic category associated with pathologically low affectivity. The paper considers three bodies of empirical evidence on the moral functioning of psychopaths: (1) psychopathy and the moral/conventional distinction; (2) psychopathy and social perspective?taking competency; and (3) psychopathy and social information processing models of aggressive behaviour. On the basis of this evidence, the conclusion is reached that psychopaths are morally sensitive in the operative sense. Thus, conceptions of moral perception that include affect in their definitions are questionable, as are educational interventions that claim to develop an affective aspect of moral functioning by improving skills in situational moral perception.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/03057240802601680
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,634
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

The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York: Schocken Books.

View all 42 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Mad, the Bad, and the Psychopath.Heidi L. Maibom - 2008 - Neuroethics 1 (3):167-184.
The Responsibility of the Psychopathic Offender.Christopher Ciocchetti - 2003 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 10 (2):175-183.
Moral Responsibility and the Psychopath.Walter Glannon - 2008 - Neuroethics 1 (3):158-166.
Psychopaths and Moral Knowledge.Vargas Manuel & Nichols Shaun - 2007 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):157-162.
Moral Understanding in the Psychopath.Luca Malatesti - 2009 - Synthesis Philosophica 24 (2):337-348.
Do Psychopaths Really Threaten Moral Rationalism?Jeanette Kennett - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):69 – 82.
Responsible Psychopaths.Patricia S. Greenspan - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (3):417 – 429.
Moral Unreason: The Case of Psychopathy.Heidi Lene Maibom - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (2):237-57.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-09-02

Total views
38 ( #302,985 of 2,533,818 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #388,784 of 2,533,818 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes