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Psychopathic disorder: a category mistake?
  1. C A Holmes
  1. School of Nursing, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.


    Although the concept of psychopathy retains its currency in British psychiatry, apparently being meaningful as well as useful to practitioners (1), it is often taken to refer to a purely legal category with social control functions rather than a medical diagnosis with treatment implications. I wish, in this brief article, to suggest that it is essentially, and most usefully, an ethical category which stands outside the diagnostic framework of present-day psychiatry.

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