Crime, Its Causes and Treatment HTML version

This book comes from the reflections and experience of more than
forty years spent in court. Aside from the practice of my
profession, the topics I have treated are such as have always held
my interest and inspired a taste for books that discuss the human
machine with its manifestations and the causes of its varied
activity. I have endeavored to present the latest scientific thought
and investigation bearing upon the question of human conduct. I
do not pretend to be an original investigator, nor an authority on
biology, psychology or philosophy. I have simply been a student
giving the subject such attention as I could during a fairly busy
life. No doubt some of the scientific conclusions stated are still
debatable and may finally be rejected. The scientific mind holds
opinions tentatively and is always ready to reexamine, modify or
discard as new evidence comes to light.
Naturally in a book of this sort there are many references to the
human mind and its activities. In most books, whether scientific or
not, the mind has generally been more closely associated with the
brain than any other portion of the body. As a rule I have assumed
that this view of mind and brain is correct. Often I have referred to
it as a matter of course. I am aware that the latest investigations
seem to establish the mind more as a function of the nervous
system and the vital organs than of the brain. Whether the brain is
like a telephone exchange and is only concerned with
automatically receiving and sending out messages to the different
parts of the body, or whether it registers impressions and compares
them and is the seat of consciousness and thought, is not important
in this discussion. Whatever mind may be, or through whatever
part of the human system it may function, can make no difference