Jeremy Bentham was an ardent secularist convinced that society could be sustained without the support of religious institutions or beliefs. This is writ large in the commonly neglected books on religion he wrote and published during the last twenty-five years of his life. However his earliest writings on the subject date from the 1770s, when as a young man he first embarked on his calling as a legal theorist and social reformer. From that time on, religion was never far from (...) the centre of his thoughts. In Secular Utilitarianism, James Crimmins illustrates the nature, extent, and depth of Jeremy Bentham's concern with religion, from his Oxford days of first doubts to the middle years of quiet unbelief, and finally, the zealous atheism and secularism of his later life. Dr Crimmins provides an interpretation of Bentham's thought in which his religious views, hitherto of little interest to Bentham scholars, are shown to be integral: on the one hand intimately associated with the metaphysical, epistemological, and psychological principles which gave shape to his system as a whole, and on the other central to the development of his entirely secular view of society. (shrink)
L’Autrice si propone di tracciare la genealogia della posizione neoliberale, partendo soprattutto dai testi di Gary Becker. Il pensiero economico neoliberale è posto in relazione con la rivoluzione scientifica e l’operazione di matematizzazione della natura che da essa scaturisce. Questo percorso porterà poi a Jeremy Bentham, il cui sistema è spesso visto come antesignano degli studiosi neoliberali. Secondo la tesi sostenuta dall’Autrice, il neoliberalismo presenta il proprio sguardo come una neutra e scientifica descrizione del reale, sennonché in tale mossa si (...) annida pur sempre una tendenza normativa. È così che gli economisti neoliberali elaborano un sistema che è altresì prescrittivo, proponendo un modello che si pone sul piano politico; modello il quale viene qui designato con il nome di «utopia economica». (shrink)
En el marco ambiental del XIX se produce la penetración de Jeremy Bentham en el horizonte intelectual salmantino. Bentham el filósofo-legislador se avenía perfectamente con el espíritu de renovación jurídico y política que se respiraba en los círculos más inquietos de la Universidad de Salamanca a comienzos del siglo XIX. El método utilitarista de Bentham propiciaba una vía nueva para fundamentar una ética jurídica y política a posteriori; en vista de los resultados dolorosos y placenteros del acto humano y de (...) sus repercusiones prósperas o nocivas en el plano social. De ahí, que la minoría intelectual que en la Universidad de Salamanca aspiraba a una profunda revisión de los esquemas didácticos vigentes eligiera la doctrina de Bentham como la más adecuada y eficaz para el logro de sus propósitos. (shrink)
v. 1. 1752-76.--v. 2. 1777-80.--v. 3. January 1781 to October 1788.--v. 4. 1788-1793.--v. 5. 1794-1797.--v. 6. January 1798 to December 1801.--v. 7. January 1802 to December 1808.--v. 8. January 1809 to December 1816.--v. 9. January 1817 to June 1820.-- v. 10. July 1820 to December 1821.--v. 11. January 1822 to June 1824.--v. 12. July 1824-June 1828.
Mill, J. S. Bentham.--Whewell, W. Bentham.--Watson, J. Bentham.--Hart, H. L. A. Bentham.--Parekh, B. Bentham's justification of the principle of utility.--Peardon, T. Bentham's ideal republic.--Hart, H. L. A. Bentham on sovereignty.--Burns, J. H. Bentham's critique of political fallacies.--Mitchell, W. C. Bentham's felicific calculus.--Roberts, D. Jeremy Bentham and the Victorian administrative state.
The new critical edition of the works and correspondence of Jeremy Bentham is being prepared and published under the supervision of the Bentham Committee of University College London. In spite of his importance as jurist, philosopher, and social scientist, and leader of the Utilitarian reformers, the only previous edition of his works was a poorly edited and incomplete one brought out within a decade or so of his death. Eight volumes of the new Collected Works, five of correspondence, and three (...) of writings on jurisprudence, appeared between 1968 and 1981, published by the Athlone Press. Further volumes in the series since then are published by Oxford University Press. The overall plan and principles of the edition are set out in the General Preface to The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 1, which was the first volume of the Collected Works to be published.An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Jeremy Bentham's best-known work, is a classic text in modern philosophy and jurisprudence. First published in 1789, it contains the important statement of the foundations of utilitarian philosophy and a pioneering study of crime and punishment, both of which remain at the heart of contemporary debates in moral and political philosophy, economics, and legal theory. Printed here in full is the definitive edition, edited by the distinguished scholars J. H. Burns and H. L. A. Hart. An introductory essay by Hart, first published in 1982 and a widely acknowledged classic in its own right, is reprinted here. It contains an important analysis of Bentham's principle of utility, theory of action, and an account of the relationship between law and morality.A new introduction by the leading Bentham scholar F. Rosen, specially written for this Clarendon Paperback edition, provides students with a helpful survey of Bentham's main ideas and an extensive bibliographical study of recent critical work on Bentham. Professor Rosen's essay also contains a new analysis of the principle of utility in Bentham's philosophy which is compared with its use in Hume and J. S. Mill. (shrink)
The writings collected in this volume make an important addition to The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. They lend credence to Bentham's claim that his ideas were appropriate `for the use of all nations and all governments professing liberal opinions'. The essays, dating mainly from late 1822 and early 1823, are based exclusively on manuscripts, many of which have not been previously published. -/- Turning his attention towards the Mediterranean basin, Bentham here attempts to legislate for one Islamic state, and (...) offers advice to another in the process of throwing off Islamic rule. The Writings for Tripoli include the famous `Securities against Misrule', in which Bentham draws up a constitutional charter with an accompanying explanation of its provisions. He also discusses the social, political, and religious institutions of the country, and proposes a scheme for the introduction of constitutional reform both there and in the other Barbary states. The Writings for Greece include a rare commentary on the first Greek constitution of 1822, and advice and warnings to the Greek legislators against the temptation of `sinister appetites'. The main theme in both groups of writings is the efficacy of representative institutions and the publicity of official actions in preventing the abuse of government power. (shrink)
This is the tenth volume of the Correspondence produced in the new edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. The great majority of the letters have never before been published. They illustrate the composition, editing, publication, and reception of several of his works. The volume reveals Bentham's attempts to influence developments in France, the USA, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and South America. Despite Bentham's importance as jurist, philosopher, and social scientist, and leader of the Utilitarian reformers, the only previous edition (...) of his works was a poorly edited and incomplete one brought out within a decade or so of his death. This new critical edition of his works and correspondence is being prepared by the Bentham Committee of University College London. (shrink)
In this first full historical account of the political thought of Jeremy Bentham, Philip Schofield shows how Bentham's insights in the fields of logic and language led to the first defence of democracy from a utilitarian perspective, and to the creation of the philosophic radicals, dedicated to political, legal, ecclesiastical, and social reform.
The contractarian theory elaborated by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice exploits the difference principle in a great many ways. Rawls argues that, when used as part of a set of guiding principles for structuring the basic institutions of society, it simplifies the problem of interpersonal comparisons (91-4)1, helps compensate for the arbitrariness of natural endowments (101-3), promotes a harmony of interests between citizens (104-5), reintroduces the principle of fraternity to democratic society (105-6), and, what is critical to his (...) contractarian theory, it is an essential part of the principles of justice which would be chosen by free, equal, and rational persons in the original position. (shrink)
The essays which Bentham collected together for publication in 1830 under the title of Official Aptitude Maximized; Expense Minimized, written at various times between 1810 and 1830, deal with the means of achieving efficient and economical government. In considering a wide range of themes in the fields of constitutional law, public finance, and legal reform, Bentham places the problem of official corruption at the centre of his analysis. He contrasts his own recommendations for good administration, which he had fully developed (...) in his magisterial Constitutional Code, with the severe deficiencies he saw in English practice. The core of the volume consists of four major essays directed against the principles and policies of four leading statesmen: Edmund Burke, George Rose, Robert Peel, and Lord Chancellor Eldon. Of particular concern to Bentham were the abuses sanctioned by the judges and their officials in the Westminster Hall courts, which, he argues, resulted in the denial of justice to the majority of the population. In this volume, Bentham not only displays the precise logical reasoning for which he is well known, but also his considerable skills as a rhetorician of reform. (shrink)
In this reply to Tim Bayne and Yujin Nagasawa, I defend the possibility of a maximal-excellence account of the grounding of the obligation to worship God. I do not offer my own account of the obligation to worship God; rather I argue that the major criticism fails. Thus maximal-excellence can ground an obligation to worship God.
This article challenges Jeremy Waldron's arguments in favour of participatory majoritarianism, and against constitutional judicial review. First, I consider and critique Waldron's arguments against instrumentalist justifications of political authority. My central claim is that although the right to democratic participation is intrinsically valuable, it does not displace the central importance of the `instrumental condition of good government': political decision-making mechanisms should be chosen (primarily) on the basis of their conduciveness to good results. I then turn to an examination of Waldron's (...) claim that individuals are entitled to participate in decisions which affect their lives. Furthermore, I respond to his claim that justifications of constitutional judicial review rely on an objectionable distrust of democratic politics, and is inconsistent with a view of the person as a morally responsible, autonomous agent. Finally, I seek to show that judicial review can itself become a valuable channel of political participation, especially for those who are marginalized and disempowered in the normal political process. (shrink)
One of the earliest and best-known of Bentham's works, the Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation sets out a profound and innovative philosophical argument. This definitive edition includes both the late H. L. A. Hart's classic essay on the work and a new introduction by F. Rosen.
Jeremy Waldron’s Law and Disagreement1 is an extremely important and influential book. Not only is it probably the best known recent text presenting the case against judicial review, but it is also rich in details and arguments regarding related but distinct issues such as the history of political philosophy, the relevance of metaethics to political philosophy, the desirable structure of legislative bodies, the justification of democracy and majoritarianism, Rawls’ political philosophy, and much more. In commenting on such rich work, then, (...) the difficulty is not to find things to disagree (or indeed agree) with, but rather to pick and choose among the many topics one can discuss. Below I focus on what seem to me like central difficulties in the more general political philosophy Waldron seems to endorse, and in its application to the topic of judicial review. (shrink)
Hart identified a utilitarian tradition in jurisprudence, which he associated with Jeremy Bentham and John Austin. This tradition consisted in three doctrines: the separation of law and morals; the analysis of legal concepts; and the imperative theory of law. I argue, contrary to Hart, that Bentham did not adopt a 'positivist' conception of law whether understood in terms of the separation of legal theory and morality or in terms of the separation of law and morals. Misinterpreting Bentham's approach to the (...) analysis of language, Hart was wrong to assume that Bentham's jurisprudential project was a precursor to his own attempt to provide a morally neutral description of a legal system. It was this assumption that led to mistakes in Hart's editing of Of Laws in General. Bentham's utilitarian theory of law should be recognised as a distinct alternative to Common Law and Natural Law theories. (shrink)
Jeremy Bentham's, hitherto known as, has recently appeared in definitive form in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. The essay contains what is arguably the most influential critique of natural rights, and by extension human rights, ever written. Bentham's fundamental argument was that natural rights lacked any ontological basis, except to the extent that they reflected the personal desires of those propagating them. Moreover, by purporting to have a basis in nature, the language of natural rights gave a veneer of (...) respectability to what, in the case of the French Revolutionaries at least, were at bottom violent and selfish passions. Yet that having been said, Bentham had no objection to the notion of a right which expressed a moral claim founded on the principle of utility. However, the phrase better captured what was at stake, and avoided all the ambiguities otherwise associated with the word. (shrink)
The poor might always be with us but neither in ways that we imagine them nor in circumstances of their own choosing. Poverty (and its subject class, the poor) has been a persistent presence in the modern social sciences - both as ethical shadow and methodological stimulus. Throughout his self-described career as `professional storyteller of the contemporary human condition', Bauman's hermeneutical, dialectical and anthropological foci and modus operandi are impressively consistent, none more so than in his reflections on the problem (...) of poverty. An important stimulant to Bauman's ruminations on the new poor has been the work of Jeremy Seabrook and not only because Seabrook's primary foci have been the symbiotic and dialectical relationships in the production of poverty and wealth in his chronicles of the poor in contemporary capitalism, in Europe and Asia. Indeed, it is arguable that Seabrook's own vocation as freelance journalist is emblematic of the kind of sociology Bauman exhorts the salaried members of the academy to embrace for now. This article traces the lineaments of the biographical parallels, intellectual resonances and methodological (or at least epistemological) affinities shared between Seabrook and Bauman so as to tease out what a sociology of the new poor looks like in the hands of Bauman after Seabrook. (shrink)
IntroductionIn this paper I would like to compare two forms of utilitarianism: the late eighteenth-century doctrine systematized by Jeremy Bentham and the philosophy advocated by its most visible contemporary proponent, Peter Singer . Here is how the latter introduces the former in the headword “Ethics” of the Encyclopaedia Britannica:[…] Jeremy Bentham is properly considered the father of modern Utilitarianism. It was he who made the Utilitarian principle serv..
The first century B.C. poet Lucretius put forth an argument for why death is not bad for the person who has died. This argument is commonly referred to as Lucretius’s “symmetry argument” because of its assumption that the period before we were born is symmetrical to the period after we die. Jeremy Simon objects to the symmetry argument, claiming that the two periods are not relevantly symmetrical: being born earlier than we actually are born would not guarantee us more life, (...) whereas extending our lifespan past the time we actually would die would guarantee us more life. Simon believes this difference between the two time periods also explains why it is reasonable for people to wish for a later death but not for an earlier birth. We raise several objections to Simon’s response. Our main objection is that insofar as people do not wish for an earlier birth, it is not because they fear losing more life, but rather is a result of being concerned about losing what is important about life, namely its unique content. (shrink)
Au cours des années 1770, ayant trouvé sa vocation de réformateur du droit et guidé par le principe du plus grand bonheur du plus grand nombre, Jeremy Bentham rassemble ses idées dans de volumineux manuscrits qu’il classe sous le titre de « principes préparatoires ». La publication récente de ces feuillets par Douglas Long et Philip Schofield entr’ouvre la porte de l’atelier du philosophe au tout début de sa carrière. Car la décennie 1770 est particulièrement féconde pour Bentham. C’est pend...
Jeremy Bentham provided a comprehensive list of the sources of pleasure and pain, rather in the manner of modern researchers into human well-being. He explicitly used the term well-being and made both qualitative and quantitative proposals for its measurement. Bentham insisted that the measurement of well-being should be firmly based on the concerns and subjective valuations of those directly concerned, in the context of a liberal society. Those who wished to superimpose other judgements were dismissed as "ipsedixitists." He also addressed, (...) though of course could not solve, some of the measurement problems more recently tackled by "neo-Benthamites." The paper concludes that many of Benthams observations about the measurement of well-being are still relevant to issues in current research. Key Words: utilitarianism Bentham well-being capabilities. (shrink)
An unresolved debate in Bentham scholarship concerns the question of the timing and circumstances which led to Bentham's ‘conversion’ to democracy, and thus to political radicalism. In the early stages of the French Revolution, Bentham composed material which appeared to justify equality of suffrage on utilitarian grounds, but there are differing interpretations concerning the extent and depth of Bentham's commitment to democracy at this time. The appearance of Rights, Representation, and Reform: Nonsense upon Stilts and other essays on the French (...) Revolution, a new volume in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, containing definitive texts of Bentham's writings at this crucial period, offers an opportunity to reassess this debate. First, Bentham's most radical proposals for political reform came not in the so-called ‘Essay on Representation’ composed in late 1788 and early 1789, as has traditionally been assumed, but in his ‘Projet of a Constitutional Code for France’ composed in the autumn of 1789, where he advocated universal adult suffrage, subject to a literacy test. Second, it may be doubted if the very question as to whether Bentham was or was not a sincere convert to democracy is particularly helpful. Rather, it may be better to see Bentham as a ‘projector’ during this period of his life. Third, the nature of Bentham's radicalism was very different at this period from what it would become in the 1810s and 1820s, for instance in relation to his commitment to the traditional structures of the British Constitution. Having said that, his attitude to the British Constitution remained complex and ambivalent. At his most radical phase, in the autumn of 1789, he advocated wide-ranging measures of electoral reform while at the same time harbouring aspirations to be returned to Parliament for one of the Marquis of Lansdowne's pocket boroughs. To conclude, it was, arguably, the internal dynamic of Bentham's critical utilitarianism, rather than the events of the French Revolution, which was ultimately responsible for pushing him into a novel form of radical politics. (shrink)
En este trabajo me voy a centrar en el análisis de la poco conocida crítica de la teoría de las virtudes de David Hume llevada a cabo por el padre del Utilitarismo clásico, Jeremy Bentham. Este trabajo defiende que la perspectiva humeana en esa teoría, basada en la distinción primordial entre virtudes naturales y artificiales, no sólo es compatible con el utilitarismo clásico, a pesar de las críticas de Jeremy Bentham, sino que puede contribuir a mejorarlo y desarrollarlo por medio (...) de la sólida, compleja y plural visión de la moralidad que propone. (shrink)
Peter G. Brown and Jeremy J. Smith (eds): Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s10806-011-9310-x Authors Neelke Doorn, Department of Technology Policy and Management, Section of Philosophy, 3TU. Centre of Ethics and Technology/Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863.
When Bob Brandom, six years after publishing his opus magnum Making it explicit (hereafter MIE)1, produced his slender Articulating reasons2, many people expected that finally they would have a concise introduction to his philosophical views. Their expectations, however, were to be dashed: Articulating reasons is a heterogeneous collection of texts elaborating on some of the topics of MIE and hardly digestible without the background of MIE3. As yet, Brandom has produced nothing that could be taken as introductory. His subsequent books (...) are either collections of essays addressing topics contained in or connected with MIE (Tales of the mighty dead4, Reason in Philosophy5 or the not yet published Perspectives on Pragmatism6), or engaged with Brandom's new philosophical doctrine, viz. analytic pragmatism, which is the case of Between Saying and Doing7. The last one, of course, is not unrelated to MIE, but it emphasizes different aspects of the enterprise; hence it is unlikely to pave the way to MIE for a perplexed reader. Until recently I was convinced that no readable introduction to Brandom's views therefore existed. Now I see I was mistaken. Though I knew that there was a book devoted to Brandom, by Jeremy Wanderer, I suspected it was more of a scientific biography than an introduction to the inferentialism of MIE; but in fact it is precisely the book I was missing: a congenial and comprehensible introduction to the ideas of Brandom's MIE. Hurrah!, a book my students, desperately wrestling with MIE, can be referred to! (shrink)