Philosophy colloquium: Heidi Maibom

Title: The Instrumentalist: Psychopathy and Moral Psychology

By Heidi Maibom (Philosophy, Cincinnati)

Date: Thursday, March 14, 2024

Time: 1530-1700 

Room: H-232

Abstract:  It is uncontroversial that psychopaths have a severe moral deficit. But whereas philosophers typically recast it so as to fit on either side of the sentimentalism vs. rationalism divide, I proceed directly from the data to suggest a new way of conceiving of amoralism. Psychopaths are driven by a will to dominate, use almost exclusively means-end reasoning, and have poor attachment to others. Ideally, this will turn out to be the reverse of what we might call good moral functioning, namely desire to get along, respect, and attachment to other people. As such, this constitutes a substantially new proposal when it comes to the moral underpinnings of morality.

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