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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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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Psychopathy and Moral Rationality

Psychopathy and Moral Rationality

(p.71) 3 Psychopathy and Moral Rationality
Being Amoral

Eric Matthews

The MIT Press

The chapter puts into doubt the close link that is often established between lack of empathy and psychopathic amorality. This critique is then developed into the claim that feeling alone cannot be the basis of moral action. The main aspect of psychopathic amorality according to the proposed analysis is the lack of intelligibility of psychopaths’ explanations for their behavior. These imply failures of reason-giving capacities, or, briefly, a defect in an aspect of practical rationality. Empathy, in the sense of a concern for others, is seen as a precondition for possessing moral rationality.

Keywords:   David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Aristotle, Philippa Foot, amoralism, empathy, practical rationality, moral rationality

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