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On the Nature of Psychopathy

The Neurobiology of Social Disruption: International Perspectives of Psychiatry, Pathology and Society, Fabrice Jotterand and James Giodorno, eds., Potomic Institute Press, 2013

16 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2012  

Daniel Moseley

Duke Universiy; The University of North Carolina

Gary J. Gala

Clinical Assistant Professor

Date Written: October 4, 2012

Abstract

The primary goal of this essay is to clarify the concept of psychopathy and distinguish it from other, related, concepts. We contend that the paradigmatic trait of psychopathy is a propensity to violence that is accompanied by a lack of conscience. We also argue that conceptual clarity on this point is important for devising empirical criteria for identifying psychopaths. We also argue that a full theory of psychopathy will require one to utilize theories and assumptions that pertain to central issues in meta-ethics.

Keywords: psychopath, sociopath, conscience, mental illness, RD Hare, DSM

Suggested Citation

Moseley, Daniel and Gala, Gary J., On the Nature of Psychopathy (October 4, 2012). The Neurobiology of Social Disruption: International Perspectives of Psychiatry, Pathology and Society, Fabrice Jotterand and James Giodorno, eds., Potomic Institute Press, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2156878

Daniel Moseley (Contact Author)

Duke Universiy ( email )

Durham, NC 27715
United States

The University of North Carolina ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

Gary Gala

Clinical Assistant Professor ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC
United States

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