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Clean Hands – Philosophical Lessons from Scrupulosity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Clean Hands: Philosophical Lessons from Scrupulosity

Jesse S. Summers and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong


Scrupulosity is a form of OCD that raises philosophical puzzles because of its superficial similarities to morally extreme, non-pathological motivation. Cases of Scrupulosity are first presented, then Scrupulosity is characterized as a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) because of its moral or religious obsessions and/or compulsions and its underlying anxiety. Scrupulosity is specifically characterized by perfectionism, chronic doubt and intolerance of uncertainty, and moral thought-action fusion. It is a mental illness and not simply religious devotion, moral virtue, or strength of c ... More

Keywords: Scrupulosity, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), mental illness, moral character, moral judgments, responsibility, treatment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190058692
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190058692.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jesse S. Summers, author
Academic Dean, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, author
Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics, Duke University

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