[LMB] Is Barr a rapist? or I'm misunderstanding beguilement?

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Thu Aug 8 21:58:33 BST 2019

I'm afraid it was meant entirely seriously.  But it's hardly a personal
stance - it's a well-known finding in psychology that the psychological
traits of people in specific professions aren't distributed as in the
general population, and that many traits (and combinations of them) once
thought to describe the "criminal mind" actually occur in many different
contexts.  If you don't look exclusively at people with poor executive
function, which early research did by examining common criminals almost
exclusively, then people in some very respected and well-paying professions
(what most consider 'success') rate much more highly on scales of
psychopathy than the general population.

(I do admit that I've been freer with the terms 'sociopath' and
'psychopath' than I should have been - since they've been stripped of their
official status, they've been losing their specificity in my mind, and I'm
more casual with them than their original, more precise definitions permit.)

If I may presume to offer some limited further links:

For a rather more clinical and skeptical view towards common discussion of
these concepts, try

On Thu, Aug 8, 2019 at 4:16 PM Karen A. Wyle <kawyle at att.net> wrote:

>  I'll grant you that uncontrolled empathy would make the practice of many
> kinds of law very difficult. But it's quite the leap from "must not be more
> compulsively empathic than most people" to "is likely to be a sociopath."
> I almost didn't respond in the first place because I doubted the statement
> was meant entirely seriously -- but I'm starting to wonder.
> Karen ("let's kill all the lawyers" was not said by a good guy)

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