Psychopathic Resentment

  • John Deigh
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 116)


Hitchcock, in Shadow of a Doubt, introduced a new kind of villain into his films. His previous villains, while conventionally ruthless and sinister, were largely plot devices. His most successful earlier films were about espionage, reflecting the growing political tensions in Europe at the time, and the villains in those films were spies and assassins whose intrigues created the suspense for which Hitchcock had become famous. In Shadow of a Doubt, by contrast, the suspense comes from the villain himself: one Charles Oakley, masterfully played by Joseph Cotton. Oakley, to his sister and her family, is the worldly Uncle Charlie, a man who exudes boyish charm, displays impeccable manners, and is attentive to all in his company, especially the women. And they in turn adore him. He is also, as we see in the opening scenes, in flight from the law, and as we later learn, a serial killer who preys on widows and who has sought refuge in the small California town of Santa Rosa, where his sister and her family live.


Moral Judgment Moral Responsibility Moral Obligation Moral Agency Reactive Attitude 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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