It was the French psychiatrist Philippe Pinel who first suggested, early in the 19th century, that there was a madness that didn’t involve mania or depression or psychosis. He called it “manie sans délire” – insanity without delusions. He said sufferers appeared normal on the surface, but they lacked impulse controls and were prone to outbursts of violence. It wasn’t until 1891, when the German doctor JLA Koch published his book Die Psychopathischen Minderwertigkeiten, that it got its name: psychopathy.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.