The Biological Criminal Brain Essay

1602 words - 7 pages

Nature and nurture are no longer a debate; we see the two working together in concert to produce a genuine expression of the individual. The personalities and habits humans acquire in their lives is as much a biological evolution as it is a social or cultural acclimatization. While some people still have the argument that it is nature or it is nurture many people have come to the realization that is has to be both. Both nature and nurture developed who we are and what we become. So the question would remain which one influences us more on if we become a criminal. In that it is meant people that live outside the acceptable social norms of that society that may involve punishment or rehabilitation. The impression that people become criminals due to their inheritable factor has not been a popular idea amongst criminologist and has incited anger amongst a lot of them. There have been amazing findings in the fields of genetics that have encouraged a biological evaluation in other social sciences. This has also steered to the appearance of a criminology sub-field called Biocriminology.
To take a good look at what Biocriminology is we must state at its scientific inception in the 1900’s. Although it was not first call Biocriminology, the odd thing is the field was almost simultaneously developed by three different people in three different countries. Benjamin Rush, an American who lived from 1745-1813, He was most widely known for being one of the signers of the “Declaration of Independence” developed what he called Moral Derangement. Rush had two writings that influences the belief at the time of the cause of criminal behavior “The Influence of Physical Cause on Moral Faculty” and “Medical Inquiries and Observations upon Diseases of the Mind” In Rushes time crime and insanity were seen as the result of sin and Rush was one of the first to conceive it as a defect of the brain. Rush spoke of repeat criminal behavior later called moral depravity. Rush argued Moral depravity is similar to a physical disease, and those who suffer from it are “very properly... subjects of medicine.”(Rush) Rushes theory is related to a billiard ball table in that one or more parts of the psyche can be knocked out and all others can stay in good order and you get partial moral derangement or all can be knocked out and you get total moral derangement. Rush takes a moral stand point when it comes to mental health and crime.
Philippe Pinel was French psychiatrist who lived from 1745-1826. Pinel was the director of two insane asylums de Bicetre and later an asylum for women called Salpetriere. Pinel was intrigued by people that were habitual law breakers, seemingly out of their controllable and in all other facets of their life remained sane. Pinel’s theories differed from Rushes in that he took a more analytical approach rather than one based from a moral stand point. When Pinel took over Bicetre he decided to take an independent approach without any preconceived notions...

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