Topics: Crime, Criminology, Sociology Pages: 6 (1891 words) Published: August 27, 2014

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Essay - Q1) Positivist Theory
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Public Offendes Criminality and Rehab
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Question 1: Positivistic Theory (Biological and Psychological Theory)

The positivist approach to criminality introduced the idea of empirically researching crime to understand the causes of criminality, and thus the solutions to solving it. Positivism is based in logic, and is the philosophy that combined epistemological phenomena with science (Blackmore, 1972). The theory assumes that criminals are fundamentally different from non-criminals; either biologically (Lombroso), psychologically (Freud), social (Park, Durkheim) or in some combination of them all, and thus aim to classify people according to these differences (Bohm, 2010). The approach ultimately replaced the ‘rational man’ with the ‘criminal type’ (Gilling, 1997). The period of Enlightenment in the 18th century enforced human progression, and as such, saw Positivism gain popularity. It was a move from abstract reasoning to rationalism, from superstition to science, with the emergence of intellectuals with philosophies to understand and improve the world (Porter, 2001). Since this time, the positivist approach has guided policymaking throughout the criminal justice system. Positivism focussed on specifically tailored treatment to ‘fit the needs of offenders’ (Treadwell, 2006). Positivists dismiss any form of evidence that does not have an empirical basis, such as religion, magic, philosophy and tradition (Blackmore, 1972). Those that cannot be objectively experienced are rejected, in so that positivists can explain criminal behaviour through that which can...

References: Blackmore, J. (1972). Ernst Mach; His Work, Life, and Influence. Los Angeles; University of California Press
Bohm, R. Vogel, B. (2010). A Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory. 3rd ed. Belmont; Cengage Learning
Gilling, D. (1997). Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy, and Politics. New York; RoutledgePorter, 2001).
Gottfredson, M. Hirschi, T. (1990). A General Theory of Crime. Stanford; Stanford University Press
Martin, G. Carlson, N. Buskist, W. (2007). Psychology. Harlow; Pearson Education/Allyn and Bacon
Maguire, B. Radosh, P. (1996). The Past, Present, and Future of American Criminal Justice. New York; General Hall
Schmaus, W. (1994). Durkheim 's Philosophy of Science and the Sociology of Knowledge: Creating an Intellectual Niche. Chicago; University of Chicago Press Rafter, 2008
Siegel, L (2009). Criminology. 10th ed. Belmont; Thomson Wadsworth
Treadwell, J. (2006). Criminology. London; Sage Publications
Williams, F. & McShane, M. (2004). Criminological Theory. Prentice Hall.  Retrieved May 10, 2007, from University of Phoenix Resource, CJA540
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