Mechanistic Criminology: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mechanistic Criminology

1st Edition

By K. Ryan Proctor, Richard E. Niemeyer


392 pages

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pub: 2019-05-31
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The science of criminology is at a crossroads. Despite accumulating a dizzying array of facts about crime, the field has yet to identify a body of theories that allows for the adequate prediction, explanation, and control of phenomena of central interest to criminologists. Mechanistic Criminology locates this problem within the field’s failure to conform to the expectations of scientific fields and reliance on antiquated methods of theory construction. The authors contend that this failure has resulted in an inability of criminologists to engage in theory falsification and competition—two central activities of science—that produce the forms of reliable knowledge that are unique to scientific fields.

Mechanistic Criminology advocates for the adoption of a mechanistic mode of theorizing to allow criminologists to engage in theory falsification and competition and ignite rapid scientific discovery in the field. The proposed method is the same one employed within the biological sciences, which is responsible for their rapid scientific progress in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Should criminologists adopt this mechanistic approach, criminology could experience the same scientific revolution that is occurring in the biological sciences, and criminologists would generate the knowledge necessary for the prediction, explanation, and control of crime.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


Part I: Scientific Criminology

Chapter 1: What is Science

Chapter 2: Assessing the Properties of Scientific Criminology

Chapter 3: Progress within Scientific Fields

Chapter 4: Scientific Progress Within Criminology

Part II: Mechanistic Science

Chapter 5: Mechanistic Explanations

Chapter 6: Mechanism Schemas

Chapter 7: Biosocial Criminology

Chapter 8: Analytical Criminology

Part III: Mechanistic Translations of Criminological Theories

Chapter 9: Social Learning Theory

Chapter 10: Social Control Theory

Chapter 11: General Strain Theory

Part IV: Mechanistic Criminology

Chapter 12: Nondeclarative Memory

Chapter 13: Declarative Memory

Chapter 14: Theory of Mind

Chapter 15: Conclusion


Subject Index

Author Index

About the Authors

K. Ryan Proctor is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Avila University. His current research focuses on the development and application of theoretical methods to promote scientific progress within the social sciences, as well as understanding how technological advances alter social structures in ways that facilitate or inhibit crime.

Richard E. Niemeyer is a co-founder and former Deputy Director of the Institute for the Applications of Mathematics and Integrated Science at the University of California, Riverside. His research broadly focuses on increasing systemicity between mathematics, the life sciences, and the social sciences. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado.

About the Series

Evolutionary Analysis in the Social Sciences

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General