Bentham's best-known book stands as a classic of both philosophy and jurisprudence. The 1789 work articulates an important statement of the foundations of utilitarian philosophy — it also represents a pioneering study of crime and punishment. Bentham's reasoning remains central to contemporary debates in moral and political philosophy, economics, and legal theory.
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 material in this volume constitutes a philosophical commonplace book, compiled by Bentham in the mid-1770s, in which he worked out the foundational ideas for his new science of legislation. One of Bentham's central concerns was the development of an adequate ontological and epistemological basis for legal terminology, and the replacement of the traditional terminology of English law with that of universal jurisprudence. Preparatory Principles constitutes a remarkable record of the evolving ideas of a major legal philosopher at a formative (...) stage of his career. (shrink)
The following sheets were, as the note on the opposite page expresses, printed so long ago as the year 1780. The design, in pursuance of which they were written, was not so extensive as that announced by the present title. They had at that time no other destination than that of serving as an introduction to a plan of a penal code in terminus, designed to follow them, in the same volume.
Definitions and distinctions -- Classification -- Of the ends of punishment -- Cases unmeet for punishment -- Expense of punishment -- Measure of punishment -- Of the properties to be given to a lot of punishment -- Of analogy between crimes and punishment -- Of retaliation -- Popularity -- Simple afflictive punishments -- Of complex afflictive punishments -- Of restrictive punishments--territorial confinement -- Imprisonment -- Imprisonment--fees -- Imprisonment examined -- General scheme of imprisonment -- Of other species of territorial confinement--quasi-imprisonment--relegation--banishment (...) -- Of simply restrictive punishments -- Of active or laborious punishment -- Capital punishment -- Capital punishment examined -- Punishment analyzed -- Of the punishments belonging to the moral sanction -- Forfeiture of reputation -- Of pecuniary forfeitures -- Forfeiture of condition -- Forfeiture of the protection of the law -- Naturally extravasting punishment--rules concerning it -- Punishment apparently, but not really, mis-seated--civil responsibility -- Mis-seated punishment, varieties of -- Vicarious punishment -- Transitive punishment -- Disadvantages of this mode of punishment -- Collective punishment -- Random punishment -- Cause of the frequency of mis-seated punishment -- Inconveniences of complex punishments -- Of transportation -- Panopticon penitentiary -- Felony -- Of præmunire -- Outlawry -- Excommunication -- Choice of punishment--latitude to be allowed to the judges -- Of subsidiary punishments -- Of surety for good conduct -- Defeazance of punishment. (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)
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.
This volume makes available one of the central texts in the development of utilitarian tradition, in the authoritative 1977 edition prepared by Professors Burns and Hart as part of Bentham's Collected Works. Certain that history was on his side, Bentham sought to rid the world of the hideous mess wrought by legal obfuscation and confusion, and to transform politics into a rational, scientific activity, premised on the fundamental axiom that "it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is (...) the measure of right and wrong.". (shrink)
The latest important addition to The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, these essays lend credence to Bentham's claim that his ideas were `for the use of all nations and all governments professing liberal opinions'.
The Declaration of Rights -- I mean the paper published under that name by the French National Assembly in 1791 -- assumes for its subject-matter a field of disquisition as unbounded in point of extent as it is important in its nature. But the more ample the extent given to any proposition or string of propositions, the more difficult it is to keep the import of it confined without deviation, within the bounds of truth and reason. If in the smallest (...) corners of the field it ranges over, it fail of coinciding with the line of rigid rectitude, no sooner is the aberration pointed out, than (inasmuch as there is no medium between truth and falsehood) its pretensions to the appellation of truism are gone, and whoever looks upon it must recognise it to be false and erroneous, -- and if, as here, political conduct be the theme, so far as the error extends and fails of being detected, pernicious. (shrink)
A critical edition of three works of Bentham, Deontology and The Article on Utilitarianism were previously unpublished. Together with An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, they provide a comrehensive exposition of Bentham's views. Based entirely on manuscripts by Bentham of his amanuenses, this edition's full introduction linking the three works. Each work is supplemented with detailed and critical notes.
A critical edition of three of Bentham's works, Deontology and The Article on Utilitarianism previously unpublished. Together with his An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, they provide a comprehensive picture of Bentham's psychological and ethical views. This edition, based entirely on manuscripts written by Bentham of by his amanuenses, is equipped with a full introduction linking the three works. Each work is accompanied by detailed critical and explanatory notes.
Early memoranda, 1773-75.--A fragment on government.--An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation.--The limits of jurisprudence defined.--Indirect legislation.--Panopticon papers.--Rationale of judicial evidence.--Pannomial fragments.--Chrestomathia.--On the art of invention.--Parliamentary reform catechism.--The book of fallacies.--Last epigrams and sayings.