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By Don Crewe (auth.)

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Additional resources for Becoming Criminal: The Socio-Cultural Origins of Law, Transgression, and Deviance

Sample text

If we take it that all individual social circumstances are unique – and we may take our authority for this claim from Bergson’s (1965) assertion that no two states of consciousness are ever the same for humans, also, as I pointed out above, all situations are unique in virtue of each possessing all pasts – then it is impossible to satisfy the ‘exactly similar’ requirement for this method to isolate causes with any certainty. Furthermore, Mill compounded the problem when he attempted to redeem the method from this particular flaw.

In the light of what has been said above, it must also be apparent that there exist serious problems with executing that task. Moreover, as with the other four methods, it still requires us to identify all other possible antecedents, which end is impossible outside arbitrarily and artificially closed (experimental, theoretical) systems. Conclusion It seems from the foregoing that we have serious problems when we talk about explanation or cause.

It is not necessary for us to examine these forms here, but we should examine the more recent conception of cause having to do with two kinds of conditions from which a phenomenon may occur, namely necessary or sufficient conditions. A condition that is necessary for the causation of an event is one without which the event will not occur. The condition, however, may exist without producing the phenomenon concerned. Theory as Causal Explanation 37 The possession of a knife is necessary to inflict a knife wound on a rival gang member; however, the possession of the knife does not mean that there will always be a stabbing incident.

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