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While most of these theories did not media and culture alike. Persons suspected or con- originate in Canada, they have influenced Canadian victed of crimes are commonly represented as in- criminal justice policies and university based re- herently bad or defective individuals suffering from search, not to mention popular representations and a pathology, or abnormal condition.
More recent is the akin to a sickness or illness. Central to the patho- case of Vince Weiguang Li, who stood trial for the logical approach is the idea that criminality is in- stabbing, beheading and cannibalization of herent in the individual e.
Li was found not criminally mones, personality, brain, neurotransmitters or responsible on account of a mental disorder genetic makeup and that it can be explained by NCRMDsparking public demands for reinstating isolating biological differences, psychological differ- the death penalty and abolishing human rights for ences, or both in individuals.
Another basic feature the mentally ill.
In a culture obsessed with con- of the pathological approach is that it is positivist. The basis of knowledge epis- The idea that some people are criminal by na- temology is dispassionate data collection and ture and commit crimes due to their essential analysis based on observation, experimentation makeup as human beings is a powerfully alluring and measurement and is thus quantitative rather idea, but one that poses serious questions and than qualitative in its approach.
The emergence of challenges. This chapter provides an overview of positivistic criminology in the late 19th century was the historical development of nonsociological theo- part of broader movement whereby all social prob- ries that focus on criminal conduct and criminality lems were increasingly viewed through the widen- as pathology.
In order to understand individually ing lens of science. Positivists assumed that human con- duct was determined by biological, psychological or psychiatric factors.
The new perspective argued that criminality had natural causes beyond individual control; thus, with the proper application of the positivist method, social progress would be achieved and social ills such as crime and vice would be eliminated.
Constructing a science of criminality has proven problematic and elusive, yet millions of dollars are spent researching it and millions of viewers tune in to watch enormously popular crime shows based on these ideas. Biological explanations have historically been among the most popular and influential of all theories of crime.
Today they are again proliferating in academia, recast in terms of evolutionary psychology, biochemistry, neuropsychology, behav- ioural genetics and so on.
However, the resurgence of biological theories— in academia and popular culture alike—makes it imperative to address the serious impli- cations of the concept of individual criminality whether defined in biological, psychological or psychiatric terms.
The crusade to establish bio- and psycho-scientific theories of crime and criminality has a long, erratic and tragic history. Before the 18th century, ideas about evil and human nature were essentially derived from a religious framework developed by church authorities.
Supernatural theories of criminality were eventually rejected and replaced by philosophical ex- planations developed by the classical school in the 18th century, postulating that crime was the result of calculated choices made by rational human agents rather than the result of mys- tical forces circulating the cosmos.
With the birth of positive philosophy during the Enlightenment, scientific theories of crime and criminality emerged and replaced the specu- lative philosophy of the classical theories.
The positivist criminology of the late 19th and early 20th centuries hypothesized that criminality was the result of biological, physiological or psy- chological factors, or all three.
Such new explanations were the product and effects of the growing scientific rationality of society. We will look at each of these approaches in turn.
But, right from the beginning, with a wide experience of examining both normal and pathological skeletons, Brown was convinced that the bones had not belonged to diseased individuals. A modern, progressive, “civilized” society thus rested upon the new ideals of science, reason and progress. Human problems were increasingly viewed as scientific problems that could be studied, known, categorized, regulated, treated and cured. Nowadays, the Neanderthals are brandished either as evidence for the ‘multi-regional’ hypothesis of human evolution — that modern people are descended from those Middle Pleistocene people who lived in their geographical area, a theory supported by a small bit of Neanderthal DNA in modern genomes.
The demonological approach derives its basis from religious authority and viewed crime as a sin and the criminal as a sinner. Two main explanations for transgression domi- nate this viewpoint:Evolving from modern humans seems quite unlikely--there are plenty of relatively small-bodied populations in the world, but cranial capacity is more or less maintained in these groups.
It has been suggested that boredom has an evolutionary basis that encourages humans to seek out new challenges. It may influence human learning and ingenuity. . Homo Floresiensis; Pathological modern human or evolutionary offshoot? Upon initial discovery of the skeletons at Liang Bau cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia in , these enigmatic skeletons were appropriately dubbed,”Hobbits” by Australian and Indonesian researchers because of their small stature and curious bone structure.
May 7, Homo Floresiensis; Pathological modern human or evolutionary offshoot? Upon initial discovery of the skeletons at Liang Bau cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia in , these enigmatic skeletons were appropriately dubbed,”Hobbits” by Australian and Indonesian researchers because of their small stature and curious bone structure.
A recent study indicated that these humans were indeed a new species of the genus Homo, and had distinct characteristics, such as cranial morphology that was different from modern humans with pathologies like dwarfism or microcephalism (Kubo ).
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