Inventing Criminology: Essays on the Rise of 'Homo Criminalis' / Edition 1

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This book traces the intellectual history of criminology, and analyzes the influence of early classical European concepts of criminality and the development of positivist methodologies. This is an original and carefully researched work, adding significantly to our knowledge of the history of criminology. From Cesare Beccaria's Dei delitti e delle pene to Charles Goring's The English Convict, Beirne offers refreshing and challenging insights on the intellectual and social histories of a variety of important concepts and movements in criminology.
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Editorial Reviews

An inquiry into key aspects of the process of concept formation in the early history of criminology, drawing on explanations of crime in Europe from Beccaria's 1764 Italian Of Crimes and Punishments to Charles Goring's 1913 English The English Convict. Finds that the period was dominated by a "positivist" view, propounding a fundamental harmony between the natural and social sciences, and an assumption that observational categories can be independent of theory. Paper edition (unseen), $18.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791412763
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 2/11/1993
  • Series: SUNY series in Deviance and Social Control Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 0.65 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Toward a Science of Homo Criminalis: Cesare Beccaria's Dei Delitti e Delle Pene (1764)

Images of Dei Delitti e Delle Pene

Reading Dei Delitti e Delle Pene as a Text of Enlightenment

Enlightenment and Darkness

The "Science of Man" in Dei Delitti e Delle Pene

From the "Science of Man" to Homo Criminalis

Chapter 3. The Rise of Positivist Criminology: Adolphe Quetelet's "Social Mechanics of Crime"

The Failure of the Classical Project

The Statistical Movement and the Compte Général

Quetelet's Social Mechanics of Crime

Quetelet and His Critics

Chapter 4. The Social Cartography of Crime: A. M. Guerry's Statistique Morale (1833)

The Movement in Cartography

Crime, Development, and Education in Statistique Morale

Crime and Education: Statistique Morale and British Empirical Research

Chapter 5. Between God and Statistics: Gabriel Tarde and Neoclassical Criminology

Classical Penality and the Positivist Revolution

The Critique of Lombroso's "Criminal Man"

From Moral Statistics to a Social Psychology of Crime

The "Normality" of Crime: Tarde's Debate with Durkheim

Crime and Penality: The Neoclassical Compromise


Chapter 6. Science, Statistics, and Eugenics in Charles Goring's The English Convict (1913)

Calculations of Criminality: The Lombrosian Challenge

The English Convict 1: Confronting Lombrosianism

The English Convict 2: Mental Hereditarianism and Eugenics

A Reconsideration of The English Convict

Chapter 7. Epilogue

Appendix: The Invention of the Term Criminology



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