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Reflections on the Theories of Criminality

  • Rev. W. D. Morrison and H.M. Prison

Recent investigations into the origin of crime point as a rule to the conclusion that all forms and manifestations of delinquency may be traced back to the operation of three causes, which have been called anthropological, social, and cosmical.∗ These three causes sometimes act individually and sometimes collectively, as well as in varying proportions, according to the nature of the crime or the character of the criminal. With respect to the second cause, it is admitted by criminalists of all schools that adverse social surroundings is one of the most potent factors in the production of crime. Some writers lay down the doctrine that crime is entirely social in its origin; they adopt as their motto the celebrated maxim of Quetelet, that society prepares crime, the criminal only executes it, and maintain that an adequate amelioration of the present unequal conditions of existence would quickly bring about the extinction of the whole criminal population.†

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Ferri, , “Socialismo e Criminalità,” 59.

“Revue Philosophique,” xxiv., 625.

Garofalo, , “Criminalogia” (ed. Fr.) 64 sq.

Ferri, , “Archives de l'Anthropologie Criminelle,” xi., 1 sq.

“Handbuch des Gefaengnisswesens,” xi., 485.

§ Quetelet, , “Physique Sociale,” xi., 266 sq.

Maudsley, Dr., “Journal of Mental Science” for last July.

“Actes du Premier Congres International d'Anthropologie Criminelle,” 495 sq.

Compare these measurements with Lombroso's in his third edition of “L'Uomo Delinquente.”.

Cf. Wilhelm Wundt, Ethik., “Eine Untersuchung der Thatsachen und Gesetze des Sittlichen Lebens,” 372 sq.

Ribot, , “Les Maladies de la Volonté” (1887), 4 sq.

Lombroso mentions the case of a man who, on being insulted at night by some unknown persons, armed himself, and went about wounding anyone he happened to meet.

Férè, , “Dégénérescence et Criminalité” (1888), 71 sq.

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  • EISSN: 2514-9946
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Reflections on the Theories of Criminality

  • Rev. W. D. Morrison and H.M. Prison
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