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Being AmoralPsychopathy and Moral Incapacity$
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Thomas Schramme

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027915

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027915.001.0001

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The Heterogeneous Construct of Psychopathy

The Heterogeneous Construct of Psychopathy

(p.41) 2 The Heterogeneous Construct of Psychopathy
Being Amoral

Henning Sass

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the history of the concept of psychopathy and its continuities with more recent perspectives. “Psychopathy,” as understood today, has many predecessors in different countries, which also had influences on each other, and the authors accordingly scrutinize the different developments and alterations in several intellectual and national traditions. They show from a historical point of view that the notions of character and personality have been central for the categorization of psychopathy and related constructs. They also point out the potential problems of linking psychopathy to nonmedical types of deviation. Another important point of their discussion is the methodology of classification, especially categorical versus dimensional models, an aspect that also has important philosophical features and that has been a significant topic for the debate surrounding the DSM.

Keywords:   history of psychopathy, history of psychiatry, character, personality, manie sans délire, moral insanity, degeneration theory, dissocial personality disorder, Kurt Schneider

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