Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 August 2021
In this chapter, I begin to develop an account of why psychopaths are unable to see other people as sources of value, a claim that is necessary for the central argument of the book as developed in Chapter 3. Having described psychopathy as a condition characterised primarily by emotional deficiencies, I look to the emotions for evidence of why psychopaths are as they are. I consider the three main philosophical theories of the emotions – cognitivist, ‘feeling’ and perceptualist theories – before settling on a hybrid account, according to which emotions are complexes of thought and feeling. Based on this, I interrogate the relationship between emotions and value, suggesting that emotions play a role in our ability to ascribe value to things in the world. I then trace the implications of these conclusions for the ability of psychopaths, given their emotional deficiencies, to engage evaluatively with the world.