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gjustice99

Kelsier's Psychopathy

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Does being a psychopath require indiscriminate lack of empathy?

Anti-social Personality Disorder involves lack of empathy. ASPD is the clinical name for sociopathy.

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Ok so I do realize that it has been around two years since i posted this thread but i have since been through an AP Psychology course and have learned that while the DSM-5 classifies Psychopathy and Sociopathy as anti-social personality disorders, they do have different manifestations as many separate disorders that fall under the same category tend to.

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I feel very much like disregarding the WoB about Kelsier's psychopathy. It may be that my image of psychopathy is of a person who callously abuses other people for pleasure and doesn't possess the ability to understand other peoples' feelings. E.g empathy. But Kelsier is clearly capable of great empathy, unless all of his "save the skaa" thinking was just self-deluded rambling (only half true). 

 

tl;dr Kelsier is not a psychopath, because he is capable of empathy. Brandon might not see psychopathy in this light, however, so there's not much I can do aside from hurling my own viewpoint against his.

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The issue is that there's an actual, real definition for psychopath, which includes diminished empathy. He does truly care about a very small number of people, but if he opposes someone, that person isn't a real person to him. He feels nothing when he kills them, is not at all concerned about their life or the people they leave behind. Most people can't just turn off empathy like that, whereas Kelsier struggles to care about just a few people.

 

Like most psychological conditions, it exists as a spectrum, not a switch. A psychopath is often portrayed in the media as an extreme, but in reality most of them will be like Kelsier. Additionally, in real life, most psychopaths learn to blend in. Mimic behaviors of the average person, even if the impetus for that behavior is missing. Again, like how Kelsier smiles, not because he's happy, but as a form of protest against the Lord Ruler, or a way to manipulate those around him.

 

I don't know if you've seen a show called Dexter, but the idea is that he's a "nice" psychopath. He's not actually evil, but he doesn't understand real life. Nevertheless, he finds life to be pleasant if he picks a few people to "care" for and if he imitates the behavior of those around him, even when he doesn't get it.

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I had a teacher who watched Dexter in high school. Interesting class sometimes . . .

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If that's the definition of psychopathy we're going for, then every person is a psychopath to a smaller or higher degree. Every human, not just psychopaths, are capable of turning that empathy down a notch. 

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