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abstract

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.