Psychopathic personalities and developmental systems

Maung, Hane Htut (2021) Psychopathic personalities and developmental systems. Philosophical Psychology, 34 (4). pp. 502-528. ISSN 0951-5089

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Is psychopathy born or made? Contemporary psychopathy research shows that there is much wrong with this question. It is increasingly accepted that the development of psychopathy is dependent on multiple causal factors interacting with one another. However, there remains the major theoretical challenge of understanding the relations between these multiple causal factors in the developmental process. In this paper, I argue that the conventional picture of gene-environment interactionism does not offer an adequate account of psychopathy development. Instead, I propose that a theoretical framework from the philosophy of biology, namely developmental systems theory, can facilitate a better understanding of psychopathy development that captures the contingent and dynamic relations between multiple causal factors. Some practical implications of a developmental systems theory approach to psychopathy are also explored.

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Journal Article
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Philosophical Psychology
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01 Jun 2022 12:15
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:29