Nomothetic methods of criminal profiling

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Book Chapter

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Interim status: Citation only.

Petherick, W. A. & Turvey, B. E. (2008). Nomothetic methods of criminal profiling. In B. E. Turvey (Ed.), Criminal profiling: An introduction to behavioural evidence analysis (pp. 75-112). Massachusetts, United States: Academic Press- Elsevier Science. ISBN: 9780123741004

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© Copyright Elsevier, Inc., 2008


There are two ways of viewing the application of logic to the development of scientific knowledge (Novick, 1988, p. 34). The first takes the position that facts, appropriately shaped and organized, will divulge their intrinsic connections to each other. In this system of reasoning, such facts are assumed to be evident of inherent truths separate from the desires of those examining them. Further, in this system of reasoning, observations are considered the purest, most honest form of study. It is consequently believed that one should observe the facts and not poison their meaning with the construction of inductive hypotheses that go beyond the observable. The second view takes the position that science requires the imposition of our hypotheses and theories on the facts to give them meaning- that our speculations bring order to chaos.

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