I came across a short Article the last passage of which begins:
Formerly known as “psychopathy”, this is one of the most controversial mental health diagnoses. Does non-conformity, however antisocial and calamitous its consequences, amount to mental illness?
Intellectualizing or Accepting
And it finishes:
Are the lack of conscience or empathy the markers of a pathology? Some scholars decry this diagnosis as a tool of social control which allows the establishment to label and confine troublemakers and society to stash away eccentrics, criminals, and deviants.
The Article’s main body tries to say too much in too few words, and therefore it only sums up the most well established, but also the most one-eyed, oversimplified “facts” about Psychopaths, wherefore it also comes out as somewhat “superstitious” in it’s dire belief in our inherent evil.
That said, those final lines I cite above hold a lot of truth. I could list a variety of facts in this regard which I have either heard of or observed, and in some cases been subject to, myself.
However, that is not what I want to do here. I am not disputing that Psychopaths do sit with a good heavy load of misdeeds, yes, I know we’re responsible for comparatively more ‘shit’ in a lot, if not all, regards than are the empathic normal people, but there’s another line that brings up a question with me. It reads:
They (the Psychopaths) intellectualize their criminal behavior, view the world – and people in it – as “all good” or “all evil”, project their own shortcomings unto others and force others to behave the way they expect them to (“projective identification”).
The definition of the word ‘Intellectualize’ has more than one layer, one of which is that it takes basis in a drive towards avoiding inner confrontation with emotions that has strong unpleasant content. In this respect it may apply to people with AsPD (and probably does), and it most certainly applies to normal empathic people in general, for everybody intellectualizes their behavior!
But for Psychopaths it’s different. We ‘Intellectualize‘ not because we have an emotional understanding that we want to avoid for whichever reason, we do it because we lack the emotional application yet understand that to others emotion is the main part, and that Reasoning with basis in emotion will always be the part which eventually can bring them to force consequences upon us for deeds we did.
To someone like myself there is absolutely no sense in accepting an uncomfortable Consequence for something you did in the past if you can change or avoid it by turning things around to, or into, a different Perspective.
After all, perspective is what this is about. To normal people, Perspective based on emotion. To the Psychopath, Perspective is based on Sense with regard to it’s possible ultimate outcome.
That is why Intellectualizing is not the same as Lying.