Abstract As humans we tend to act morally responsible in society due to norms and values. But is it acceptable to judge others, if they are unable to act upon what society expects, e.g. psychopaths? That’s the main concern in this study and therefore it sets out to examine whether psychopaths can be held morally responsible for their actions. In order to do that, the study illuminates psychopaths from a psychological and neuroscientific approach. The psychological perspective focuses on the psychopath’s behavior in society and in relation to other people. When concluding that an agent is fulfilling the demands of psychopathy, a diagnostic system is used to point out the characteristics, which contributes to determine when an agent can be classified as a psychopath. Furthermore the psychology and the neuroscientific perspective focus on the agent’s cognitive brain structures. By including an investigation of abnormal brains, which have been MRI-scanned, it was proved that the agent’s behavior can be caused by regulative differences in the abnormal brain. To discuss moral responsibility, philosophical theories concerning free will, determinism and moral responsibility have been used. Based on five different responsibility theories the philosophers, Peter Frederick Strawson, John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza, Frankfurt, Piers Benn and Galen Strawson, define what it takes for an agent to be moral responsible according to their beliefs. By analysing and discussing, in combination with a psychological and neuroscientific point of view, the study concludes, that none of the theories constitutes a plausible bid alone, since every one of them is lacking some determinant factors. That’s why a combination of Galen, Frankfurt and Strawson’s theories represents the most plausible bid. It is however still questionable whether a psychopath can be completely responsible for his/her actions.
|Uddannelser||Basis - Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis|
|Udgivelsesdato||18 dec. 2013|
- Moral responsibility og psycopathy