An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Sunday, January 15, 2006


This extended fragmented piece is beginning to get some traction. A couple of comments have appeared on the Spymac version that I may yet have to incorporate into these other versions. It is gratifying that we are now in the process of generating a genuine palimpsest. To summarise, the comments take a canonical approach to the issue of psycopathy and sociopathy. They suggest that the arrow of causality belongs with social conditioning producing, or not, empathy in the individual whereas, of course, what we are suggesting here is exactly the flip side of that coin. We argue that, in accordance with so much fashionably modern problem solving, there is a genetically determined causality at work. In short, we want to suggest that there is a genetic mechanism that makes empathy possible at all and that sociopaths and psychopaths (or an-empaths as we shall henceforth refer to them) are simply lacking this mechanism and are therefore incapable of developing empathy at all, ever.

Thus, rather than it being the case that cities and suburbia generate sociopathic behaviour as our two correspondents propose it is instead true that a growing population of these an-empaths is crowding into these conurbations for cover. Now we are not denying, of course, that poor socialisation will impede the full onward development of empathy and this, in and of itself, makes conurbations all the more attractive to an-empaths for somebody with severely underdeveloped empathy will be less likely to detect an-empaths or even to find them alien and an an-empath paired with a normal human is more likely to pass as human itself.

So there you have the nub of our argument: sociopaths and psycopaths are not humans who have failed to develop empathy properly, they are a species that has no capacity for empathy and it is this inability to develop empathy that makes them a separate species.

(to be continued)

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