•  2670
    We are addressing this letter to the editors of Philosophical Psychology after reading an article they decided to publish in the recent vol. 33, issue 1. The article is by Nathan Cofnas and is entitled “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (2020). The purpose of our letter is not to invite Cofnas’s contribution into a broader dialogue, but to respectfully voice our concerns about the decision to publish the manuscript, which, in our opinion, fails to meet a r…Read more
  •  388
    Psychopathy Treatment and the Stigma of Yesterday's Research
    In Sandra L. Borden & Fritz PhD J. D. Allhoff (eds.), Ethics and Error in Medicine, Routledge. 2020.
    The psychiatric diagnosis of psychopathic personality—or psychopathy—signifies a patient stereotype with a callous lack of empathy and strong antisocial tendencies. Throughout the research record and psychiatric practices, diagnosed psychopaths have been predominantly seen as immune to psychiatric intervention and treatment, making the diagnosis a potentially strong discriminator for treatment amenability. In this contribution, the evidence in support of this proposition is critically analyzed. …Read more
  •  300
    This letter addresses the editorial decision to publish the article, “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (Cofnas, 2020). Our letter points out several critical problems with Cofnas's article, which we believe should have either disqualified the manuscript upon submission or been addressed during the review process and resulted in substantial revisions.
  •  217
    The Posited Self: The Non-Theistic Foundation in Kierkegaard’s Writings
    Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook 20 (1): 31-54. 2015.
    We may correctly say that Søren Kierkegaard is one of the most influential Christian-religious thinkers of the modern era, but are we equally justified in categorizing his writings as foundationally religious? This paper challenges a prevailing exclusive-theological interpretation that contends that Kierkegaard principally writes from a Christian dogmatic viewpoint. I argue that Kierkegaard’s religion is better understood as an outcome of his philosophical analysis of human nature. Conclusively,…Read more
  •  207
    Recent debates in psychopathy studies have articulated concerns about false-positives in assessment and research sampling. These are pressing concerns for research progress, since scientific quality depends on sample quality, that is, if we wish to study psychopathy we must be certain that the individuals we study are, in fact, psychopaths. Thus, if conventional assessment tools yield substantial false-positives, this would explain why central research is laden with discrepancies and nonreplicab…Read more
  •  201
    From Affective Science to Psychiatric Disorder: Ontology as Semantic Bridge
    with Janna Hastings
    Frontiers in Psychiatry 9 (487): 1-13. 2018.
    Advances in emotion and affective science have yet to translate routinely into psychiatric research and practice. This is unfortunate since emotion and affect are fundamental components of many psychiatric conditions. Rectifying this lack of interdisciplinary integration could thus be a potential avenue for improving psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. In this contribution, we propose and discuss an ontological framework for explicitly capturing the complex interrelations between affective enti…Read more
  •  137
    Søren Kierkegaard is often considered to be one of the most vocal critics of German idealism. The present paper analyzes the philosophical similarity between Friedrich Schelling ’s early idealistic work and Kierkegaard ’s existential writings, endeavoring to display Schelling ’s epic 1809 publication Philosophical Investigations into the Essence of Human Freedom as a possible forerunner to Kierkegaard. This juxtaposition reveals concrete similarity that supports the thesis that Schelling ’s work…Read more
  •  133
    Psychopathy Treatment and the Stigma of Yesterday's Research
    Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 29 (3): 243-272. 2019.
    The psychiatric diagnosis of psychopathic personality—or psychopathy—signifies a patient stereotype with a callous lack of empathy and strong antisocial tendencies. Throughout the research record and psychiatric practices, diagnosed psychopaths have been predominantly seen as immune to psychiatric intervention and treatment, making the diagnosis a potentially strong discriminator for treatment amenability. In this contribution, the evidence in support of this proposition is critically analyzed. …Read more
  •  111
    Mental health research faces a suite of unresolved challenges that have contributed to a stagnation of research efforts and treatment innovation. One such challenge is how to reliably and validly account for the subjective side of patient symptomatology, that is, the patient’s inner experiences or patient phenomenology. Providing a structured, standardised semantics for patient phenomenology would enable future research in novel directions. In this contribution, we aim at initiating a standardiz…Read more
  •  94
    Sentimentalist aesthetic theories, broadly construed, posit that emotions play a fundamental role in aesthetic experiences. Jesse Prinz has recently proposed a reductionistic version of sentimentalist aesthetics, suggesting that it is the discrete feeling of wonder that makes an experience aesthetic. In this contribution, we draw on Prinz’s proposal in order to outline a novel version of a sentimentalist theory. Contrasting Prinz’s focus on a single emotion, we argue that an aesthetic experience…Read more
  •  69
    Is the Psychopathic Brain an Artifact of Coding Bias? A Systematic Review
    with Jarkko Jalava, Stephanie Griffiths, and B. Emma Alcott
    Frontiers in Psychology 12. 2021.
    Questionable research practices are a well-recognized problem in psychology. Coding bias, or the tendency of review studies to disproportionately cite positive findings from original research, has received comparatively little attention. Coding bias is more likely to occur when original research, such as neuroimaging, includes large numbers of effects, and is most concerning in applied contexts. We evaluated coding bias in reviews of structural magnetic resonance imaging studies of PCL-R psychop…Read more
  •  63
    Kierkegaard, Eve and Metaphors of Births (review)
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 1-3. forthcoming.
    Alison Assiter has put together a work that has the potential to create an exciting and stimulating debate in Kierkegaard circles. Mostly because she portrays Kierkegaard as an idealist ontologist, that is, a philosopher of not just human nature (i.e. subjectivity), but also nature in its cosmic totality. Thus, what I find most admirable is that with Assiter we have a thinker who has the philosophical courage to suggest that the purported relationship between Schelling and Kierkegaard leads nece…Read more
  •  54
    A Consideration of Carroll’s Content Theory
    Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (2): 245-255. 2020.
    In this paper, we consider Noël Carroll’s Content Theory (CT) (2015) and argue that a key problem with CT is that it can be interpreted in two distinct ways: as a descriptive theory of aesthetic experience and as a normative prescriptive theory. Although CT is presented as a descriptive theory of experience, much of what Carroll says implies that CT can also be understood as a theory about how one ought to look at artworks. We argue that when understood as a descriptive theory, CT fails to quali…Read more
  •  15
    The term psychopathy refers to a personality disorder associated with callous personality traits and antisocial behaviors. Throughout its research history, psychopathy has frequently been described as a peculiar form of moral blindness, engendering a narrative about a patient stereotype incapable of taking a genuine moral perspective, similar to a blind person who is deprived of proper visual perceptions. However, recent empirical research has shown that clinically diagnosed psychopaths are mora…Read more
  •  14
    Psychopathy has been theorized as a disorder of emotion, which impairs moral judgments. However, these theories are increasingly being abandoned as empirical studies show that psychopaths seem to make proper moral judgments. In this contribution, these findings are reassessed, and it is argued that prevalent emotion‐theories of psychopathy appear to operate with the unjustified assumption that psychopaths have no emotions, which leads to the hypothesis that psychopaths are completely unable to m…Read more
  •  10
    Volume 23, Issue 3, September 2020, Page 214-233.
  • Are Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) Psychopaths Dangerous, Untreatable, and Without Conscience? A Systematic Review of the Empirical Evidence
    with Jarkko Jalava and Stephanie Griffiths
    Psychology, Public Policy and Law 26 (3). 2020.
    The Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL; Hare, Neumann, & Mokros 2018) scales are among the most widely used forensic assessment tools. Their perceived utility rests partly on their ability to assess stable personality traits indicative of a lack of conscience, which then facilitates behavioral predictions useful in forensic decisions. In this systematic review, we evaluate the empirical evidence behind 3 fundamental justifications for using the PCL scales in forensics, namely, that they are empiric…Read more