To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This article illustrates the contours of the continuing debate over Bentham's utilitarianism through an analysis of the secondary literature. It assesses the persuasiveness of the principal contemporary “authoritarian” (despotic, totalitarian, collectivism behaviouralist, constructivist, panopticist and paternalist) and “individualist” (facilitative and liberal) interpretations of Bentham's thought, indicating where they are consistent with his writings and where they are not. Distinctions and conflicts between contending perspectives are found to be rooted in a reliance on different elements of Bentham's vast corpus and emphasis on different components of his utilitarian theory. An examination of the contending perspectives underscores the tensions in Bentham's thought, including the most characteristic tension between, on the one hand, the axiomatic commitment to the individual and, on the other hand, the greatest happiness principle.
O'Connell's relationship with Jeremy Bentham is the
subject of frequent comment.
However, the nature of this relationship has never been adequately
documented, largely because the
principal documentary evidence – their correspondence –
remains uncollected. As a result, there exists
a lacuna in the literature relating to O'Connell's involvement
with British radicalism. This essay
reconstructs the nature of his political alliance with Bentham from
the evidence provided by their
correspondence, from 1828 to 1831. It begins with O'Connell's
plausible professions of discipleship
and their shared optimism about the radical reform agenda, through to
Bentham's concerted efforts to
bind O'Connell to the British radical movement, and ending in the
disillusionment and division that
arose from O'Connell's insistence on giving priority to Irish
reforms and Bentham's deep suspicion of
catholicism. The whole is illustrative of Bentham's efforts in
his later years to implement his policies
through the agency of presumed ‘disciples’.
Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) was a life-long opponent of capital punishment. All told he left us three essays on the subject, dating from 1775,1809 and 1830, only the first and third of which have been published and subjected to critical analysis. In this article I am concerned with the unpublished manuscripts of 1809. Hitherto ignored by students of utilitarian legal philosophy, these papers contain what is perhaps Bentham’s most trenchant criticisms not only of capital punishment per se but also of the extensive discretionary powers which its administration made available to England’s magistrates. With legislators making increasing use of the penalty of death in the second half of the eighteenth century, magistrates felt compelled to grant reprieves to convicted capital offenders and to substitute lesser penalties as a matter of common practice. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, this manner of dispensing justice was an issue of some moment to law reformers of all persuasions, including the radical Bentham.
The utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) has long been recognized as an exponent of a new science of society. However, scholars of his thought have given scant attention to at least one important aspect of that science: the relationship between the metaphysical presuppositions of his social science and his view on religion. Rarely is it considered that Bentham's aspiration to create a science of society in emulation of physical science was fundamental to his critique of religion just as it was to all other areas of his thought. This critique of religion was set out principally in a series of works written between the years 1809 and 1823. Swear Not at All was published in 1817, and followed a year later, after earlier efforts were aborted in 1809 and 1813, by Church-of-Englandism and its Catechism Examined. The Analysis of the Influence of Natural Religion on the Temporal Happiness of Mankind appeared in 1822 and Not Paul, but Jesus in 1823. It was not merely a coincidence that in the very period when Bentham devoted so much of his time to religion his work on metaphysics and logic substantially reached fruition. The “Book on Logic,” on which Bentham worked at intervals between 1811 and 1821, was intended to give a full description of his “method.” The work was never completed but was eventually edited and included in several fragments in John Bowring's edition of The Works of Jeremy Bentham. The essay on “Nomography” with an appendix on “Logical Arrangements, or Instruments of Invention and Discovery Employed by Jeremy Bentham” is included in the third volume, and in the eighth volume is to be found the “Essay on Logic,” “A Fragment on Ontology,” the “Essay on Language,” and the “Fragments on Universal Grammar.” The metaphysics described in these essays by Bentham was initially developed by him during the formative years of his intellectual life in the early 1770s, and he was always aware of its particular consequences in the field of religion.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.