Stephen Finlay is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. He works primarily in metaethics and moral psychology, and his recent journal articles focus on the meaning of ‘ought’ and similar words. He is currently writing his first book on the meaning and use of moral language.
THE SELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER: PSYCHOPATHS, MORAL JUDGMENT, AND RESPONSIBILITY
Version of Record online: 1 SEP 2011
© 2011 The University of Memphis
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
Special Issue: Spindel Supplement: Empathy and Ethics
Volume 49, Issue Supplement s1, pages 125–133, September 2011
How to Cite
FINLAY, S. (2011), THE SELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER: PSYCHOPATHS, MORAL JUDGMENT, AND RESPONSIBILITY. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 49: 125–133. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2011.00061.x
- Issue online: 1 SEP 2011
- Version of Record online: 1 SEP 2011
David Shoemaker argues from (a) psychopaths' emotional deficiency, to (b) their insensitivity to moral reasons, to (c) their lack of moral responsibility. This response observes three important ambiguities in his argument, involving the interpretation of (1) psychopaths' emotional deficit, (2) their insensitivity to reasons, and (3) their moral judgments. Resolving these ambiguities presents Shoemaker with a dilemma: his argument either equivocates or it is falsified by the empirical evidence. I then propose an alternative perspective on psychopaths' moral and criminal responsibility.