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Crime, Psychiatry, and Genetic Determination




Crime and psychiatry: Historical principles and diagnostic principles
Sherry L. Wieder (B. W. Schlesinger Foundation, Rock Hill, NY)
Mark Ast (Hillside Hospital Center for Neuropsychiatric Outcomes and Rehabilitation Research, Glen Oaks, NY)
Professionals concerned with criminal violence should have an good basic knowledge of psychiatric disorders given the increased rate of psychiatric disorders among prisoners and the high incarceration rate among adult patients with psychosis.  It is little known that Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) founded modern scientific psychiatry and first identified schizophrenia and manic-depression.  Following his early predominance and decades long decline, the re-ascent of his viewpoint forms the basis of the "neo-Kraepelinian" revival now dominating the "biological" approach to psychiatry and psychiatric diagnosis.  Fundamentals of Kraepelin's approach to differential diagnosis of aberrant forms of behavior are presented.(back to top)

A violent clashing of ideas: Freedom vs. causality
Mark Ast (Hillside Hospital Center for Neuropsychiatric Outcomes and Rehabilitation Research, Glen Oaks, NY)
Sherry Wieder (B. W. Schlesinger Foundation, Rock Hill, NY)
The social sciences presuppose that criminal behavior no less than the motion of atoms is subject to the Law of Causality i.e., every event or action is caused by temporally prior events and explained in terms of those causal determinants.  The criminal law assumes (without any demonstration) the opposite; that the human will is free and undetermined by external forces such as poverty and other environmental stresses and deprivations. The present paper determines whether these two systems of explanation for criminal responsibility are fundamentally irreconcilable.(back to top)

Philosophy of crime behavior genetics
Sherry L. Wieder
(B. W. Schlesinger Foundation, Rock Hill, NY)
A detailed analysis is made demonstrating that of some of the most intractable theoretical problems in the field of behavior genetics require highly sophisticated methods of philosophic investigation.  This paper formulates 10 guiding principles for crime behavior geneticists which should safely support any future structures of thought and methods of empirical investigation.(back to top)

Crime, freedom, and genetic determination
Mark Ast (Hillside Hospital Center for Neuropsychiatric Outcomes and Rehabilitation Research, Glen Oaks, NY)
Sherry Wieder (B.W. Schlesinger Foundation, Rock Hill, NY)
The present paper offers an original explanation of the relative contributions of genes and environment to human abilities and aberrant behavior as part of a new theory of freedom and determination of human thought, volition and action.  This new theory rejects (1) the conventional explanation that behavioral traits result form some amorphous "mixture" of genes and environment; and (2) the account that freedom is merely voluntary determination.  A new "categorical" theory of freedom, determination and criminal responsibility is presented.(back to top)