Psychopathy In Greg Miller's The Roots Of Morality

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Psychopathy and its Role in Morality
Psychopathy can be defined as a psychological disorder that is characterized by immoral and occasionally antisocial behavior. This disorder is commonly associated with the inability to form loving, or emotional bonds to other people, or things. However it is distinct from sociopathy, which is commonly used interchangeably, which in reality is incorrect. Sociopathy can be defined as a disorder in which a person takes part in antisocial, and oftentimes criminal behavior, in addition to lacking a moral sense of responsibility. One of the main differences in the two disorders, is that psychopathy is believed to be a natural genetic disorder, while sociopathy develops from the environment a child grows up in,
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Furthermore psychopathy is the underdevelopment of the portion of the brain, related to impulse control and regulating emotion; therefore psychopaths are incapable of feeling emotions, not that they blocking them, or not addressing them. Anatomically there are distinctions between the brains of psychopaths, and the brains of those who do not suffer from the disorder; these anatomic abnormalities are the reason that psychopaths do not feel empathy, which is commonly the cause for their immoral behavior. When evaluating the ideas developed in Greg Miller’s “The Roots of Morality”, it is important to consider that, in addition to emotion and cognition, both empathy and emotion are large factors in making moral decisions, and as psychopaths are incapable of feeling empathy, their morals do not follow the same pattern as a cognitively normal person.
In Greg Miller’s “The Roots of Morality” he identifies the main two factors that affect a person’s morality as emotion and cognitivity. While these two factors do make up a large portion of one’s morality, another factor that plays a part is empathy, which is incorporated in emotion.
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This idea is found in the article, “Morality Judgements in Psychopaths”, written by Jana Schaich Borg and and Walter Sinnott­ Armstong of Duke University. This article discusses the process in which people who who suffer from psychopathy make moral decisions, if emotion is not part of it, in addition to a rational deficit. The article states, “When evaluating reports of moral judgment in psychopaths, it is also crucial not to conflate moral judgment with moral feelings or emotion” (Borg, & Armstong) This makes the distinction between moral judgements, and emotions, because in cases such as psychopathy these two idea have no correlation. This article also states that, “Readers should keep in mind that, however, even if psychopaths have that cognitive ability, they likely have impairments in empathy and emotions as well as in motivation and the ability to translate their moral judgments into action” (Borg, & Armstong 5). This also is taking into consideration that despite the fact that psychopaths do not lack the mental capability of making these moral judgements, they do indeed lack this overall ability of recognizing emotion, which will in turn affect their capability of making moral

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