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On Moral Judgements and Personality Disorders: The Myth of Psychopathic Personality Revisited

  • Ronald Blackburn (a1)
Extract

Psychopathic personality has always been a contentious concept, but it continues to be used in clinical practice and research. It also has its contemporary synonyms in the categories of antisocial personality disorder in DSM–III (American Psychiatric Association, 1980) and “personality disorder with predominantly asocial or sociopathic manifestations” in ICD–9 (World Health Organization, 1978), and some overlap between these and the legal category of psychopathic disorder identified in the English Mental Health Act 1983 is commonly assumed. Although the literal meaning of ‘psychopathic’ is nothing more specific than psychologically damaged, the term has long since been transmogrified to mean socially damaging, and as currently used, it implies a specific category of people inherently committed to antisocial behaviour as a consequence of personal abnormalities or deficiencies.

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On Moral Judgements and Personality Disorders: The Myth of Psychopathic Personality Revisited

  • Ronald Blackburn (a1)
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