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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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Without Fellow Feeling

Without Fellow Feeling

Chapter:
(p.91) 4 Without Fellow Feeling
Source:
Being Amoral
Author(s):

Heidi L. Maibom

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027915.003.0004

The chapter challenges the influential idea that psychopaths lack empathy. The approach combines conceptual analysis with perspectives on empirical data. Different aspects of empathy are distinguished. The author stresses differences in constructing the notion of empathy in relation to different research focuses, which shows the need to reconceptualize empathy for the purposes of debating, and empirically researching, psychopathy. A more inclusive approach to explaining empathy, which allows a wider scope of psychological structures to be relevant, is suggested. Psychopaths’ problems in feeling for others might be due to a related lack of ability to feel for themselves in imagined scenarios. This would call for a perspective on psychopathy that focuses less on intersubjective, and more on self-concerned, psychological faculties.

Keywords:   fellow feeling, psychopathy, empathy, sympathy, self-concern

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