Początki kryminologii w Polsce. Od ery prepozytywistycznej do pełnego pozytywizmu

Jan Widacki


Earliest Days of Polish Criminology. From the Pre-Positivist Era to the Mature Positivist Era

The publication of Cesare Lombroso’s The Criminal Man in 1876 is generally considered the birth of criminology. The new science did not emerge all of a sudden but resulted from a longer process. Various attempts, feasible for the scientific method at successive stages of its development, were made to explain the reasons for criminality before the arrival of the era of positivism and contemporary science, and the construction of Lombroso’s theory of the born criminal. Franz Joseph Gall proposed the theory of phrenology, claiming that the shape of the brain is decisive for criminal tendencies. Philippe Pinel perceived the cause of crime in “mania without delirium”, and James C. Prichard in “moral insanity”. The developing social sciences and the positivist physicalism governing them made it possible to handle the statistical aspects of the phenomenon (A.M. Guerry, A. Quetelet). Such novel scientific information reached Poland mostly through physicians, yet was hardly interesting for lawyers brought up on the foundations of the classical school. In criminal law, they a priori rejected determinism together with the achievements of contemporary science. The first of the Polish lawyers to support the concept of determinism in human and social behaviours was professor of criminal law Józef MichałRosenblatt. He also realised that the new discipline of criminology, distinct from criminal law, was being born. In 1888 Ludwik Krzywicki, a social philosopher, teacher, and sociologist could have been the first to use the term “kryminologia”in Poland. He also challenged Lombroso’s theory, criticising it from Marxist and sociological positions. However, one of the most fascinating Polish criminologists of the late 19th century was professor of forensic medicine Leon Wachholz.

Słowa kluczowe: historia kryminologii, kryminologia w Polsce, Rosenblatt, Krzywicki, Wachholz / history of Polish criminology, criminology in Poland, Wachholz

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