Positivism assumes a deterministic nature to crime and that there lies within, a causation which is beyond the individuals control. Positivist theorists will then be identified and the theory will be discussed, outlining the main thesis and beliefs of both of the theories. One of the two major schools of criminology. Classical and neoclassical schools of criminology differ in theory and approaches to the justice system. The classical and positivist approaches to criminological theory were both highly influential in their definition of and approach to dealing with crime and criminal punishment. They sought to eliminate the cruel public executions, which was designed to scare people into obedience. y The Classical Scholars Modern criminology is the product of two main schools of thought: the classical school originating in the 18th century and the positivist school originating in the 19th century. Through understanding, the reasons a person commits a crime, one can come up with ways to prevent and control crime. During the mid-eighteenth century, social philosopher’s argued a rational approach to punish criminals. People are hedonistic, they act out of self- interest 4. Positivist Criminology 1800s onwards. Classical School vs. Positivist School of Criminology The Classical School of Criminology is premised on the theory that people have free will in formulating decisions, and that punishment is capable of deterring crime, so long as it is carried out without delay and is appropriate and in proportion to the crime committed. Criminology is the scientific study of criminal behavior and society’s reaction to law violations and violaters (Siegel, 2003). People have free will 2. The essay will first look at the history of the Classical Theory looking at Beccaria and Benthams classical school of criminology and its effects in a brief section. Classicism assumes the free will of individuals and concentrates heavily on the punishment of crime. Classical Theory vs Positivist Theory The classical and positivist approaches to criminology theory were both highly influential in their definition of dealing with criminal punishment. Classical and Positivist Criminology ATS1281 Understanding Crime. Classical Vs. Positivist Criminology In the mid-eighteenth century, social philosophers started arguing for a more rational approach to criminal punishment. Classical Criminology 1500s-1700s. View of human behaviour Focuses on the act, not the actor 1. People are rational and calculated 3. The classical school of criminology was invented in the eighteenth century during the enlightenment era (White et al., 2008). (Walters & Bradley, 2005) states that nasty punishments which occurred in Europe were out-shadowed by the introduction of this idea because it recognized an unexpected civil change, and hence providing an important explanation for the criminal code in western civilizations. In contrast to the classical school, which assumes that criminal acts are the product of free choice and rational calculation, the positivist sees the root causes of crime in factors outside the control of the offender. Classical School vs. Positivist School of Criminology The Classical School of Criminology is premised on the theory that people have free will in formulating decisions, and that punishment is capable of deterring crime, so long as it is carried out without delay and is appropriate and in proportion to the crime committed. 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