Are psychopaths moral‐psychologically impaired? Reassessing emotion‐theoretical explanations

Mind and Language 37 (2):177-193 (2022)
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Abstract

Psychopathy has been theorized as a disorder of emotion, which impairs moral judgments. However, these theories are increasingly being abandoned as empirical studies show that psychopaths seem to make proper moral judgments. In this contribution, these findings are reassessed, and it is argued that prevalent emotion‐theories of psychopathy appear to operate with the unjustified assumption that psychopaths have no emotions, which leads to the hypothesis that psychopaths are completely unable to make moral judgments. An alternative and novel explanation is proposed, theorizing psychopathy as a degree‐specific emotional deficiency, which causes degree‐specific differences in moral judgments.

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Author's Profile

Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen
University of Toronto at Mississauga

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References found in this work

The emotional construction of morals.Jesse J. Prinz - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The emotional basis of moral judgments.Jesse Prinz - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):29-43.
Externalist moral realism.David O. Brink - 1986 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 24 (S1):23-41.

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