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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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Psychopathic Comportment and Moral Incapacity

Psychopathic Comportment and Moral Incapacity

Chapter:
(p.137) 6 Psychopathic Comportment and Moral Incapacity
Source:
Being Amoral
Author(s):

Kerrin A. Jacobs

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027915.003.0006

The chapter addresses an issue of a mainly intrasubjective failure in psychopathy, here described as a lack in moral self-realization. The author takes a phenomenological approach, drawing especially on Martin Heidegger’s related notion of comportment (Verhaltung). The findings are aligned to the notion of a scope of possibilities. It is argued that there is both a restriction in the case of psychopathy—as psychopaths cannot act morally—and a pathological widening of such a scope, in that psychopaths transgress moral and social rules. Psychopathy involves an impairment of a general evaluative sense of oneself and the world. The author makes use of Harry Frankfurt’s notion of caring. This implies that psychopaths might suffer from defects not only in respect to specific moral capacities, but more generally in terms of general mental human faculties, which might show in the realm of morality.

Keywords:   Martin Heidegger, psychopathy, comportment, lived experience, phenomenology, moral incapacity, intrasubjectivity, moral self-realization, Harry Frankfurt

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