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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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Do Psychopaths Refute Internalism?

Do Psychopaths Refute Internalism?

(p.187) 8 Do Psychopaths Refute Internalism?
Being Amoral

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

The MIT Press

The chapter focuses on the philosophical debate between moral motivational internalism and externalism. The author analyzes and thereby challenges the conceptual problems underlying this quarrel in relation to the apparent empirical findings on psychopathy. Major obstacles in making progress in this debate are conceptual and methodological problems. First, there is not a clear-cut and undisputed definition of moral internalism. Second, empirical results about a lack of moral judgment are not forthcoming, since it is not certain how to test such an impairment, and also who is to count as psychopaths in the first place. In conclusion both externalists and internalists are wrong in some respect: internalists in that they see an internal connection between moral judgments and motivation, externalists in their rejection of internalism on grounds of findings about psychopathy.

Keywords:   moral motivation, internalism, externalism, psychopathy, moral judgment

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