Supernatural forces cannot be observed, and the demonic perspective (like our "little green creature" example) is therefore not testable. Toward the end of the 1700s, the demonic perspective was challenged by a group of philosophers who came to be called classical school criminologists. (1)
Classical school believed that God instilled in humans the capacity to exercise free will and the ability to choose a course of behavior through reason. Several scholars - chief among them Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham - used this general platform to argue for legal reform. In doing so, these penal reformers also articulated a scientific Theory of criminal behavior. Classical school theory dominated criminological thought into the late 1800s, until it was challenged by a new group of theorists.
The influence of the classical school of criminology began to wane in the late 1800s. ...Show more