One of the most useful perspectives from which to consider questions in ponerology is that of evolutionary psychology. This is the field that asks how and why certain psychological traits and characteristics came about and were selected for during our long evolutionary past. And a number of thinkers have commented on how psychopathy might be viewed through this lens.
I shared some of these evolutionary views of psychopathy in previous writings, discussing:
- What a profound evolutionary development the emergence of humans without conscience was
- Whether psychopathy is best understood as an aberration of normal human capacities akin to blindness or deafness or, rather, as a reflection of a different type of human being practicing a different, perhaps detestable to many, but also successful survival and reproductive strategy
- Why some experts view psychopaths as “intraspecies predators” or even a separate subspecies of Homo Sapiens
Recently, a debate has been raging about these very issues. (more…)