CRIME AND MIND 13/09/2012
3 models we will look at
1. Traditional legal model
2. Psychological model
3. Socio-political model
Traditional legal model is about intention. Somebody intends to do. Implies a number of things; people
can chose to do the right thing and the wrong thing, and if they choose to do the wrong thing they
deserve to be punished. Voluntaristic model. Form of voluntarism. Some people support voluntarism.
Think it is better to be able to say people voluntarily chose to make a decision.
The contrast with psychology is determinism. Determinism the whole point is that we are not making
our own choices. (If I go to a men’s store and pick a blue and a maroon tie and think the maroon tie
looks better, I don’t know what neurological process is going on inside me what connections are being
made, memory being tapped into – it was pre determined by what is hidden in my mind). So when
people commit crimes they are not responsible for them. if a person chooses to rob a bank, we don’t
know what was going on inside his mind, that is how every argument is set up. Psychology is an excuse
in some sort of way.
It is not wrong that that the psychological model has threads of determinism in it and that the TLM has
voluntarism in it, what is completely misleading is the debates on how we should deal with the
offenders, when they don’t really understand what the models are saying.
TLM is part of a broader model, not really about responsibility, and it is from that, that voluntarism
emerges. Psychological model not really about if people are to blame for what they do (that is where
determinism comes from).
Fantastic irony about legal voluntarism and psychological determinism. A lot of people don’t like
psychological determinism. Want to punish people if they have done something wrong. Voluntarism
therefore is more appealing and easy to understand. Psychology can be very complicated. Requires a lot
of knowledge such as neurology. Completely misleading. We actually think of the mind with
psychological way. Far from the TLM being easy to understand, it is alien to us and therefore harder to
understand. SO THE REVERSE IS TRUE.
When we think of the medieval world, we often think of fiction. They weren’t scientist in the sense we
understand science. Science started after medieval times. Alchemy was the first form of science. But
humans are ingenious and inventive (warfare things came up) but not scientific.
when the doctrine of intent was being incorporated in English law, they weren’t ingenious at all. They
did not invent much at all at that time. Developments would occur in china and arrive in the West and
the people would just use them. eg the water wheel to ground corn, the ones in the west were under
driven. When the over driven wheels came, the Europeans did not think what we can use it for, the engineering behind it, they just used it as it was.
if you look at the 1400’s in Italy, Leonardo di vinci has a book of sketches of machines, though not all
work. He was the great intellectual of the renaissance. 100 of years after doctrine of intent people are
more interested in machines and architecture. When people started being interested, it became a
metaphor that they are always using.
The clock is the most important.
In order to understand the motion of the hands of the clock we must understand the inside of the clock,
the mechanics of the clock.
Over 100s of years only by the end of the 19 century that notion gets applied to the mind, and it is that
bit that we are all psychologists. It’s the intuition, that whatever it is like to have a mind, whatever we
are thinking, experiencing, there must be some very complex inner workings of the mind that we are not
aware of that make it possible. To understand the mind, would be to understand the inside. So there are
some mental processes of our own mind that we don’t understand at all. There might be someone who
does not know us that knows our mind better. We don’t just want to know what the mental experience
(thoughts, thoughts become actions) of having a mind is like; we want to know the inner workings
It is not wrong to think that we don’t know everything about our own mind.
Nature of machines; if there is a basic machine analogy that we have inner workings of the mind. Talking
about a car, in a conceptual way has 3 components. Power mechanism, steering mechanism and
carriage capacity. A car is only properly working if it has all the bits there. You do not have a functioning
car if you take the bits out. Bits can be defective. Engine can seize up. Still a whole entity. When we are
talking about machinery, there are bits that are defective, missing.
Pre psychological version
not talking about the inner mind, talking about the experience of the mind itself. Resources of
introspection. Thinking of themselves thinking. They are not interested in the inner workings of the mind
but the conscious mind itself. When asked about the nature/structure of the mind they gave a 3 part
Reason – will – emotion
Intellect- volition- feeling
Still used in legal and theological discussion.
These parts are not like machine parts. They cannot be taken out. Not components added together that
make a mind function. These things we know of just by having a mental mind has 3 components. Reason: if you ignore states such as unconsciousness. Normal waking experience, your mind is always
engaged in reasoning. You are a thinker, all the time. Think of very mundane actions and constrained
very mundane actions eg: