What can we learn from psychopaths? That's the provocative question at the heart of Dr. Kevin Dutton's provocative new book The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.
Big Think has chosen this book as our Book of the Month for October, and we look forward to having Dr. Dutton into our studio later this month to discuss his book in detail. In the meantime, we are previewing his book and in particular the relationship between success and psychopathy.
In order to create the greatest happiness for the greatest number, Dutton argues, someone needs to bite the bullet. That is the definition of utilitarianism. Dutton's insight is that we need a psychopath who isn't afraid to pull the trigger to make it all happen. In other words, we need psychopathic qualities in our leaders as well as in other professions that involve "dirty work."