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Tarde, Gabriel De (1843–1904)

Gabriel de Tarde was a judge, head of statistics in the ministry of justice, professor at the College of France, and member of the French Institute. He was one of the central figures in French criminology toward the end of the nineteenth century. Scholars know him better today for his sociological theories and for his opposition to Émile Durkheim (1858–1917). Tarde was one of the first to criticize Cesare Lombroso's (1835–1909) theory of the “born criminal,” and he developed an original theory on the perpetration of crime and penal responsibility.

It was probably from his experience as a practicing judge that Tarde drew the first elements of his criticism of Lombroso's theory of the criminal type. From the 1880s onward, Tarde published in opposition to the ...

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