A new understanding of psychopathy: The contribution of phenomenological psychopathology

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The objective of this study is to present a theoretical paper about a clinical issue. Our aim is to propose some clinical and semiological considerations for a psychopathological conception of psychopathy. We will discuss several major theoretical works dedicated to this nosographic entity. We will also examine a significant issue raised by Cooke et al., namely whether psychopathic functioning is consistently related to antisocial behavior. This theoretical essay is informed by clinical situations. The method applied a phenomenological psychopathology analysis to the clinical material. We first compare Binswanger’s conception of mania with psychopathic functioning. Patients’ behavior is similar but there is a difference related to the dialectic between the ego and the alter ego. A patient with mania has a fundamental crisis of the ego, which a psychopath does not have. A second finding of our investigations concerns emotions and the adaptive dimension of the psychopathic disorder. An epistemological discussion of the concept of emotions reveals that psychopaths are competent in the management of emotional stimuli, which confers a psychological advantage upon them.
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Archival date: 2015-08-24
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