Responsibility and psychopathy: Interfacing law, psychiatry and philosophy

Paperback | September 26, 2010

EditorLuca Malatesti, John McMillan

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Psychopaths have emotional impairments that can be expressed in persistent criminal behaviour. UK and US law has traditionally excused disordered individuals for their crimes citing these emotional impairments as a cause for their criminal behaviour. The discussion of whether psychopaths aremorally responsible for their behaviour has long taken place in the realm of philosophy. However, in recent years, this has moved into scientific and psychiatric investigation, fundamentally so with the development of Robert Hare's diagnostic tool, the Psychopathy Checklist.Responsibility and Psychopathy explores the moral responsibility of psychopaths. It engages with problems at the interface of law, psychiatry, and philosophy, and is divided into three parts providing relevant interdisciplinary background information to address this main problem. The first part discusses the public policy and legal responses to psychopathy. It offers an introduction to the central practical issue of how public policy should respond to psychopathy, giving insights for those arguing about the responsibility of psychopaths.The second part introduces recent scientific advancements in the classification, description, and explanation of psychopathy. In particular, Robert Hare illustrates and defends his Psychopathy Checklist (PCL). Surveys of the most recent brain imaging studies on psychopaths and the prospects fortreatment are also included. The third part of the volume includes chapters covering the most significant dimensions of philosophical debate on the moral and criminal responsibility of psychopaths. In relation to this issue, philosophers have considered whether psychopathic offenders possess moral understanding and/or arecapable of controlling their criminal behaviour. This part illustrates how answering these questions involves investigating highly debated and central philosophical problems. These difficulties concern the nature of moral understanding, the significance of emotive and cognitive faculties in moralunderstanding and motivation, and the most appropriate account of moral and criminal responsibility that can justify a response to the psychopathic offenders.Exploring one of the most contentious topics of our time, this book is fascinating reading for psychiatrists, philosophers, criminologists, and lawyers.

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Psychopaths have emotional impairments that can be expressed in persistent criminal behaviour. UK and US law has traditionally excused disordered individuals for their crimes citing these emotional impairments as a cause for their criminal behaviour. The discussion of whether psychopaths aremorally responsible for their behaviour has l...

Luca Malatesti received his doctorate in philosophy of science from the University of Genoa and his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Stirling. He was Wellcome Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Institute of Applied Ethics at the University of Hull. He is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Rijeka (Cro...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:250 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:September 26, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199551634

ISBN - 13:9780199551637

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Table of Contents

1. John McMillan and Luca Malatesti: Introduction: interfacing law, philosophy and psychiatryPsychopathy and the Law2. Tony Ward: Psychopathy and criminal responsibility in historical perspective3. Peter Bartlett: Stabbing in the dark: English law relating to psychopathy4. Stephen J. Morse: Psychopathy and the law: the United States experience5. Matt Matravers: Policies, law and psychopathy: a critical stance from political philosophyPsychopathy: A New Research Paradigm6. Luca Malatesti and John McMillan: Defending PCL-R7. Robert D. Hare and Craig S. Neumann: Psychopathy: assessment and forensic implications8. Carla Harenski, Robert D. Hare, and Kent A. Kiehl: Neurodevelopmental bases of psychopathy: a review of brain imaging studies9. James R. P. Ogloff and Melisa Wood: The treatment of psychopathy: clinical nihilism or steps in the right direction?The Responsibility of the Psychopathic Offender10. John McMillan and Luca Malatesti: Responsibility and psychopathy11. Antony Duff: Psychopathy and answerability12. Neil Levy: Psychopathy, responsibility and the moral/conventional distinction13. Heidi L. Maibom: Rationalism, emotivism, and the psychopath14. Jeanette Kennett: Reasons, emotion, and moral judgment in the psychopath15. Ishtiyaque Haji: The inauthentic evaluative schemes of psychopaths and culpability16. Grant Gillett: Intentional action, moral responsibility and psychopaths17. Ronald de Sousa and Douglas Heinrichs: Will a stroke of neuroscience ever eradicate evil?18. Luca Malatesti and John McMillan: Conclusions: psychopathy and responsibility, a rejoinder