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Psychopaths, brains, childhoods and society

This Sunday’s observer had 4 pages devoted to the research and thinking of Adrian Raine, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the foremost researchers on the brain and psychopaths. The article asks many important questions about what gives rise to psychopaths, and is critical of the idea that nurture (such as childhood trauma or poverty) causes this. His new book, the Anatomy of Violence [1], also has in its title, the Biological Roots of Crime, and the guardian article was titled 'How to spot a murderers' brain (click for article) . It is the implications of this that worry me.

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Guest — Deborah Marks
Thank you for this excellent article, which I will be drawing to the attention of my CDR students on the Psychoanalytic Observatio... Read More
Thursday, 16 May 2013 08:14
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Jimmy Saville, psychopaths and you and me

The controversy surrounding Jimmy Saville raises many crucial issues, and stirs up powerful feelings, as it should.  We should be shocked and disgusted by what has happened to his victims, and appalled that he was allowed to carry on in the way he was in institutions which we have trusted and relied on, such as the BBC, hospitals and prisons. Shock, disgust, anger and blame are appropriate and expectable emotions in the face of such unthinkable behaviour, and the collusion of too many people with those behaviours.

At the same time I feel like urging a note of caution. Not in a way that will condone anything that has happened, but rather about our reactions, and particularly the inevitable braying for blood and revenge and the need to hold people to account and punish, which while it makes sense on one level, can also be a dangerous route to follow. The note of caution I want to sound is that if we put all our energy into condemning, litigation and revenge we are far less likely to be able to make sense of what has actually happened.

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Guest — Liz
thank you - good to think about it without the knee-jerk reaction which I have to admit i was having and very sobering as well.... Read More
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 22:29
Guest — Robert Glanz
Impressively manages to pack in a great deal to reflect on in a very short piece. I particularly think it is brave of you to speak... Read More
Thursday, 01 November 2012 08:29
Guest — Jane O'Rourke
I think what is interesting about this article is that it challenges us to think honestly about ourselves. This has led me to thin... Read More
Monday, 05 November 2012 12:48
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