Bentham's book An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation was printed in but not published until It is possible that Bentham was spurred on to publish after he saw the success of Paley's The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy.
Life A leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law and one of the founders of utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham was born in Houndsditch, London on February 15, He was the son and grandson of attorneys, and his early family life was colored by a mix of pious superstition on his mother's side and Enlightenment rationalism from his father.
Bentham lived during a time of major social, political and economic change. The Industrial Revolution with the massive economic and social shifts that it brought in its wakethe rise of the middle class, and revolutions in France and America all were reflected in Bentham's reflections on existing institutions.
Though qualified to practice law, he never did so. Instead, he devoted most of his life to writing on matters of legal reform—though, curiously, he made little effort to publish much of what he wrote.
Bentham spent his time in intense study, often writing some eight to twelve hours a day. While most of his best known work deals with theoretical questions in law, Bentham was an active polemicist and was engaged for some time in developing projects that proposed various practical ideas for the reform of social institutions.
Although his work came to have an important influence on political philosophy, Bentham did not write any single text giving the essential principles of his views on this topic. His most important theoretical work is the Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislationin which much of his moral theory—which he said reflected "the greatest happiness principle"—is described and developed.
InBentham became associated with the Earl of Shelburne and, through him, came into contact with a number of the leading Whig politicians and lawyers.
Although his work was admired by some at the time, Bentham's ideas were still largely unappreciated. Inhe briefly joined his brother Samuel in Russia, where he pursued his writing with even more than his usual intensity, and he devised a plan for the now infamous "Panopticon"—a model prison where all prisoners would be observable by unseen guards at all times—a project which he had hoped would interest the Czarina Catherine the Great.
After his return to England inand for some 20 years thereafter, Bentham pursued—fruitlessly and at great expense—the idea of the panopticon.
Fortunately, an inheritance received in provided him with financial stability. By the late s, Bentham's theoretical work came to have a more significant place in political reform. Still, his influence was, arguably, still greater on the continent. Bentham was made an honorary citizen of the fledgling French Republic inand his The Theory of Legislation was published first, in French, by his Swiss disciple, Etienne Dumont, in The precise extent of Bentham's influence in British politics has been a matter of some debate.
While he attacked both Tory and Whig policies, both the Reform Bill of promoted by Bentham's disciple, Lord Henry Brougham and later reforms in the century such as the secret ballot, advocated by Bentham's friend, George Grote, who was elected to parliament in reflected Benthamite concerns.
The impact of Bentham's ideas goes further still. Contemporary philosophical and economic vocabulary for example, "international," "maximize," "minimize," and "codification" is indebted to Bentham's proclivity for inventing terms, and among his other disciples were James Mill and his son, John who was responsible for an early edition of some of Bentham's manuscriptsas well as the legal theorist, John Austin.
At his death in London, on June 6,Bentham left literally tens of thousands of manuscript pages—some of which was work only sketched out, but all of which he hoped would be prepared for publication. He also left a large estate, which was used to finance the newly-established University College, London for those individuals excluded from university education—that is, non-conformists, Catholics and Jewsand his cadaver, per his instructions, was dissected, embalmed, dressed, and placed in a chair, and to this day resides in a cabinet in a corridor of the main building of University College.
The Bentham Project, set up in the early s at University College, has as its aim the publishing of a definitive, scholarly edition of Bentham's works and correspondence. Locke's influence was primarily as the author of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and Bentham saw in him a model of one who emphasized the importance of reason over custom and tradition and who insisted on precision in the use of terms.
Hume's influence was not so much on Bentham's method as on his account of the underlying principles of psychological associationism and on his articulation of the principle of utility, which was then still often annexed to theological views.
Bentham's analytical and empirical method is especially obvious when one looks at some of his main criticisms of the law and of moral and political discourse in general. His principal target was the presence of "fictions"—in particular, legal fictions.
On his view, to consider any part or aspect of a thing in abstraction from that thing is to run the risk of confusion or to cause positive deceit. While, in some cases, such "fictional" terms as "relation," "right," "power," and "possession" were of some use, in many cases their original warrant had been forgotten, so that they survived as the product of either prejudice or inattention.
In those cases where the terms could be "cashed out" in terms of the properties of real things, they could continue to be used, but otherwise they were to be abandoned. Still, Bentham hoped to eliminate legal fictions as far as possible from the law, including the legal fiction that there was some original contract that explained why there was any law at all.
He thought that, at the very least, clarifications and justifications could be given that avoided the use of such terms. Human Nature For Bentham, morals and legislation can be described scientifically, but such a description requires an account of human nature.
Just as nature is explained through reference to the laws of physics, so human behavior can be explained by reference to the two primary motives of pleasure and pain; this is the theory of psychological hedonism.
There is, Bentham admits, no direct proof of such an analysis of human motivation—though he holds that it is clear that, in acting, all people implicitly refer to it.
Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure.Positivism was largely thought up of by Jeremy Bentham and John Austin; however, once established the idea of positivism was greatly refined and 'perfected' by grupobittia.com Hart.
Hart's "The Concept of Law" caused a re-formation of the positivist belief and its interaction with the idea of law and the other principal theories of law. Top 10% Absolutely Positively the Best 30 Death Penalty Websites on the Internet (Top 1%) Death Penalty Information Center Probably the single most comprehensive and authoritative internet rersource on the death penalty, including hundreds of anti-death penalty articles, essays, and quotes on issues of deterrence, cost, execution of the innocent, racism, public opinion, women, juveniles.
About articles, of which: About full-length scientific pieces, of which 17 were co-authored; 57 of the self-authored pieces were refereed, 45 were invited (in edited volumes, for example).
Bentham: A Fragment on Government (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) [Ross Bentham] on grupobittia.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This volume makes available one of the central texts in the development of utilitarian tradition, in the authoritative edition prepared by Professors Burns and Hart as part of Bentham's Collected Works.
beauty. The characteristic feature of things that arouse pleasure or delight, especially to the senses of a human observer.
Thus, "beauty" is the most general term of aesthetic appreciation. Whether judgments about beauty are objective or subjective has been a matter of serious philosophical dispute..
Recommended Reading: James Kirwan, Beauty (Manchester, ) and Philosophies of Art and. John Stuart Mill (—) John Stuart Mill () profoundly influenced the shape of nineteenth century British thought and political discourse.