Jonathan Glover On The Consciences Of Sociopaths

The moral philosopher Jonathan Glover interviewed a number of anti-social people, including psychopaths, who have committed serious crimes and live in secure hospitals in order to investigate how they think about right and wrong and what sort of conscience they have.  He thinks they have a conscience, but one unlike others’. They have strong feelings about fairness, even favoring retribution and capital punishment, but little sympathy. It’s an authoritarian conscience, rule-worshiping–even to extreme levels that would allow for the same severe punishments to be meted out for relatively minor infractions as for major ones. They also all had atrocious childhoods which hindered their willingness to feel sympathetic emotions and deep respect.

Hear his whole interview with Philosophy Bites, in which he explores the ramifications of his interviews for his understanding of moral responsibility and just punishment, is here.

Your Thoughts?

"I applaud your approach and recommend, if you like, “Rogerian Argument” which does - as ..."

Making Arguments Less Tediously Repetitive, Contentious, ..."
"Perhaps this idea's time has come. I like your logical and convincing presentation. I have ..."

Making Arguments Less Tediously Repetitive, Contentious, ..."
"Yes! We need methods to help us have conversations with people we disagree with. Since ..."

Making Arguments Less Tediously Repetitive, Contentious, ..."
"Snoke is not well developed because he does not need to be. We already know ..."

Religion and Philosophy in The Last ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment