Assumes people rational actors and seek to maximize pleasure/minimize pain. Central to philosophies of utilitarianism and contemporary rational choice approaches to crime control. - Revoking of individual’s ability to participate in criminal behaviour. British used penal colonies both as banishment and means to rid homeland of criminal felons and various rogues, vagabonds and beggars. - Rehabilitation: Ultimate goal to restore convicted offender to constructive place in society through some combination of treatment, education and training. -
Week 4: Criminological Positivism: Philosophical origins in Auguste Comte’s proposal that we should have a science of society. Proposed positivism as a way to move from metaphysical claims of social knowledge to scientific knowledge of the social world. Recognizes only positive facts and observable phenomena, with objective relations of these and laws that determine them, abandoning all inquiry into causes or ultimate origins. Every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, philosophy can do no more than attest to logical and exact use of language through which observation can be expressed. Causes of pathology can only be understood and confronted through scientific methodology. Pfohl notes, “Positivist approach represented anti-ethical critique of classical attempts to explain crime as wilful, premeditated and controllable act of rational human being.” Comte’s proposal we could have science of society became known as positivism (belief final stage of progressive social stages was positive stage), where scientific method could be applied equally to study of natural and social worlds. Pathological Explanations of Deviance and Crime: 19th Century, shift from classical to biological explanation of deviance. Cesare Lombroso publishes The Criminal Man 1976. He studied cadavers of executed and living criminals and determined serious criminal activity probably inherited trait. Pathological Perspective : Early positivist approaches largely biological in seeking to demonstrate how human behaviour, including crime, was physiologically determined. Lombroso’s work often called atavistic theory or simply atavism, for notion that criminals could be identified by physical traits that in part explained life of crime. Classified as form of biological determinism, approach that fell out of favour but recently made headway with study of genetics. - Determinism: Criminologists and sociologists who use trait theories see deviance and crime as product of natural processes or causes. Crime and deviance become dependent variables. Determinist perspectives saw influence of Darwin’s Origin of Species, notable for notion that differences between species in result of successful adaptation. Herbert Spencer’s phrase, survival of fittest often confused with Darwin, Spencer's social Darwinism popular for idea genetics and proper breeding was primary difference between social classes.