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By Don Crewe (auth.)

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Extra info for Becoming Criminal: The Socio-Cultural Origins of Law, Transgression, and Deviance

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His potential use and development of these may be called his human powers. A good life is one which maximizes these powers. A good society is one that maximizes (or permits and facilitates the maximization of) these powers and thus enables men to make the best of themselves. (Macpherson 1973: 8–9) We might say that Marx’s theory is designed to do a certain kind of work, that is, to produce ideas that will emancipate the proletariat from exploitation by the bourgeoisie and thus free them to achieve their highest good.

Such propositions are known as nomological propositions. Most criminologists subscribe to the premise that discovering causes and laws that will permit us to predict outcomes is the rightful task of criminology. This is even true of criminologists working in the hermeneutic tradition. Understanding (verstehen) of the world of offenders and victims is taken to be explanatory concerning causes of crime and victimization, just as much as the measurement of the behaviour of offenders and victims provides statistical models upon which statements of the likelihood of certain outcomes are based.

Our whole object can only be – as is also the case in Feuerbach’s criticism of religion – to give religious and philosophical questions the form corresponding to man who has become conscious of himself . . Hence, our motto must be: reform of consciousness not through dogmas, but by analysing the mystical consciousness that is unintelligible to itself, whether it manifests itself in a religious or a political form. It will then become evident that the world has long dreamed of possessing something of which it has only to be conscious in order to possess it in reality.

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