- Mar 2023
But why do the feeble-minded tend so strongly to become delinquent? The answer may be stated in simple terms. Morality depends upon two things: (a) the ability to foresee and to weigh the possible consequences for self and others of different kinds of behavior; and (b) upon the willingness and capacity to exercise self-restraint. That there are many intelligent criminals is due to the fact that (a) may exist without (b). On the other hand, (b) presupposes (a). In other words, not all criminals are feeble-minded, but all feeble-minded are at least potential criminals. That every feeble-minded woman is a potential prostitute would hardly be disputed by any one. Moral judgment, like business judgment, social judgment, or any other kind of higher thought process, is a function of intelligence. Morality cannot flower and fruit if intelligence remains infantile.
I like this explanation because it gives some insight as to why feeble-minded people become delinquents. I like that it stated not all criminals are feeble-minded because there are some criminals that are very intelligent. The unabomber for example, Ted Kaczynski was a mathematics professor, and retired to later became a bomb maker. He wasn't caught for a good while which shows that he was intelligent. I think this is important to the history of psychology because we now have developed knowledge that feeble-minded people aren't always criminals, but have some potential of becoming a criminal.