Musings on Psychopathy

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

A friend wrote me:

In a nation ruled by psychopath bankers, those who are not genetic psychopaths, are induced to behave like psychopaths to survive. When the rules are set up to make a society “adaptive” to psychopathy, it makes sociopaths of everyone. As a consequence, a very large number of people are effective sociopaths. (Here we use “sociopath” as a designation of those individuals who are not genetic psychopaths)

To which I replied:

Indeed, it’s a sad fact of life that the world glorifies the psychopath and that success in the world today all too frequently seems to require a psychopathic mindset. However, I think the problem with humanity at its root cause does not stop with the psychopath, I think it goes deeper. In fact, I think the prevalence of the…

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When Does Psychopathy Flourish? (Musings on Psychopathy II)

A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

“Insanity – a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.”R.D. Laing

What is a psychopath?

Etymology: Psychopath
psycheLook up psyche at
1647, “animating spirit,” from L. psyche, from Gk. psykhe “the soul, mind, spirit, breath, life, the invisible animating principle or entity which occupies and directs the physical body” (personified as Psykhe, the lover of Eros), akin to psykhein “to blow, cool,” from PIE base *bhes- “to blow” (cf. Skt. bhas-). The word had extensive sense development in Platonic philosophy and Jewish-infl. theological writing of St. Paul. In Eng., psychological sense is from 1910.
pathosLook up pathos at
“quality that arouses pity or sorrow,” 1668, from Gk. pathos “suffering, feeling, emotion,” lit. “what befalls one,” related to paskhein “to suffer,” and penthos “grief, sorrow;” from PIE base *kwenth- “to suffer, endure” (cf. O.Ir. cessaim, Lith. kenciu “suffer”).
From Greekψυχήpsyche “soul” + πάθοςpathos “suffering”.


psychopath = psyche + pathos …

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