Cover

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Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

I have accumulated many debts in preparing this volume. Some of the papers were presented at a conference in 2010 in Swansea, UK, which was funded by a generous grant of the Wellcome Trust. I would like to thank the participants at this event for their valuable input and suggestions, and my former colleagues at Swansea University, who helped me enormously. The...

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1. Introduction

Thomas Schramme

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pp. 1-40

To research and write about psychopathy from an interdisciplinary perspective involves trying to pin down quickly moving targets. Almost nothing in relation to this phenomenon can be taken for granted. Psychopathy has been described in various ways in the psychiatric, legal, and philosophical literature; indeed, the terminological landscape has changed in the last few...

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2. The Heterogeneous Construct of Psychopathy

Henning Sass, Alan R. Felthous

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pp. 41-68

The concept of “psychopathy,” which is at the beginning of our notion of “personality disorders,” has important roots in the French, German, and Anglo-American psychiatric traditions. Well into the twentieth century, sociocultural factors caused these conceptions of psychopathy to develop more or less independently. This chapter deals with all three traditions and...

I. Moral Capacities and Incapacities

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3. Psychopathy and Moral Rationality

Eric Matthews

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pp. 71-90

The word “psychopathy” is used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition; DSM–IV; American Psychiatric Association 1994) only as a possible synonym for that work’s preferred term “antisocial personality disorder” (which I shall henceforth normally abbreviate to “APD”). The essential feature of APD is said to be “a pervasive pattern of...

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4. Without Fellow Feeling

Heidi L. Maibom

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pp. 91-114

The impoverished emotional lives of psychopaths capture the attention of most people. Psychopaths have impaired empathy, sympathy, guilt, remorse, shame, and love and their emotional experiences tend to be shallow (Cleckley 1982; Hare 2004).1 What stands out most is their disregard for the well-being of others. Psychopaths are extraordinarily egocentric; they...

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5. The Words but Not the Music: Empathy, Language Deficits, and Psychopathy

Gwen Adshead

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pp. 115-136

In the first edition of his famous work on psychopathy, The Mask of Sanity, Hervey Cleckley (1941) describes a group of men and women who lack the psychological capacity to engage in deep and enduring emotional relationships with others, and who use the language of emotion and feeling in a meaningless way. Cleckley called this “semantic dementia”: although in a...

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6. Psychopathic Comportment and Moral Incapacity

Kerrin A. Jacobs

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pp. 137-166

Meta-ethics has formulated types such as the moral free rider or moral nihilist, who are not motivated to be morally good persons or to be regarded as commendable members of the moral community. But do such prototypes fully account for the phenomenon Michael Smith has dubbed “real life psychopaths” (Smith 1994, 67)? The intentionality and phenomenality...

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7. Not Caring: Sociopaths and the Suffering of Others

Piers Benn

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pp. 167-184

I begin with an intuitive and rather obvious fact about suffering. This is that when you suffer, you want that suffering to end, other things being equal. Even if you consider your suffering as justified in some way—for example, as punishment or because it is the lesser of two evils—there is still something intrinsically aversive about it. Admittedly, there have been suggestions...

II. Issues in Moral Psychology

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8. Do Psychopaths Refute Internalism?

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

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pp. 187-208

Many moral philosophers endorse some version of motivational internalism about moral judgment. In response, their opponents often cite psychopaths as counterexamples to such internalism. In my view, they are both wrong: Internalists are wrong to claim an internal relation between moral judgment and motivation (Brink 1989; Sinnott-Armstrong 1993), and their...

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9. Psychopathic Resentment

John Deigh

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pp. 209-226

Hitchcock, in Shadow of a Doubt, introduced a new kind of villain into his films. His previous villains, while conventionally ruthless and sinister, were largely plot devices. His most successful earlier films were about espionage, reflecting the growing political tensions in Europe at the time, and the villains in those films were spies and assassins whose intrigues created the...

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10. Being a (A-)Moral Person and Caring about Morality

Thomas Schramme

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pp. 227-244

In the philosophical debate on the foundations of morality, a specter is lurking: the figure of the amoralist. This is a person who entirely rejects morality’s normative power. Such persons are not simply immoral, but rather a-moral, in the sense that moral rules, norms, and standards have no influence on their behavior. In philosophical ethics, it is sometimes argued...

III. Social Aspects: Blame, Transgression, and Dangerousness

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11. Psychopathy, Responsibility, and the Moral/Conventional Distinction

David W. Shoemaker

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pp. 247-274

In many current discussions of the moral and criminal responsibility of psychopaths, the moral/conventional distinction bears a great deal of weight, albeit for strikingly different conclusions. For some theorists, psychopaths’ failure to distinguish between moral and conventional transgressions suggests that they are not capable of the sort of moral understanding necessary...

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12. The Significance of Psychopathic Wrongdoing

Matthew Talbert

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pp. 275-300

I argue below that psychopaths are sometimes open to moral blame on account of their wrongdoing. Thus, on my view, psychopaths are sometimes appropriate targets for negative reactive attitudes like resentment that characterize moral blame.
On the approach to moral responsibility that I pursue, blame is fundamentally a response to a certain characteristic significance...

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13. Contesting Dangerousness, Risk, and Treatability: A Sociological View of Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD)

Susie Scott

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pp. 301-320

The sociology of mental health makes an important contribution to debates about psychopathology by shifting the focus of attention away from individual minds and behavior and toward the social and cultural context in which these are embedded (Rogers and Pilgrim 2010). Whereas colleagues in psychiatry and moral philosophy attempt to identify the distinguishing...

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14. Conclusion: The Many Faces of Psychopathy

Thomas Schramme

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pp. 321-324

The research on psychopathy is a good example of the chances, as well as the challenges, of interdisciplinary research. It is obvious that we will not make progress in philosophy when using a phenomenon like psychopathy in order to bear evidence for theoretical claims—for instance, regarding moral motivation or responsibility—unless we have a clear grasp of its empirical...

Contributors

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pp. 325-326

Name Index

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pp. 327-330

Subject Index

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pp. 331-336