A Determinist's Perspective of Criminal Responsibility

  • M. V. Julian


The ageless conflict between the antithetical theories that free will on the one hand and determinism on the other is the key to understanding human behavior forms the substance of this philosophical analysis of criminal responsibility. The writer traces the historical development of criminology against the background of modern scientific thought to develop a model based on the principle that human behavior is the product of an interaction between personality and environment. Such a model combines elements of both predictability and uncertainty. His "prediction" test for criminality satisfies with simplicity the requirement that a scientific model be consistent with observation. Through its simplicity and credibility, the theory invites a fresh and challenging approach to the problem of determining criminal responsibility.