Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher, economist, jurist, and legal reformer and the founder of modern utilitarianism, an ethical theory holding that actions are morally right if they tend to promote happiness or pleasure (and morally wrong if they tend to promote unhappiness or pain) among all those affected by them. In the 1780s, for example, Bentham maintained a correspondence with the aging Adam Smith, in an unsuccessful attempt to convince Smith that interest rates should be allowed to freely float. Jeremy Bentham Biography. I, Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman, University College London's Special Collections, A Plan for an Universal and Perpetual Peace, "The Early History of Thames Magistrates' Court", "Oddball Philosopher Had His Mummified Body Put on Display … and Now His Rings Are Missing", Value of a Lot of Pleasure or Pain, How to be Measured, "A choice of evils: Should democracies use torture to protect against terrorism? Jeremy Benthamwas born on February 15th, in 1748. Bentham was a man of considerable irony and personal eccentricity. [36] Other sites were considered, including one at Hanging Wood, near Woolwich, but all proved unsatisfactory. Jeremy Bentham was een Engelse jurist, filosoof en sociaal hervormer. His subject areas include philosophy, law, social science, politics, political theory, and religion. The fame of his writings spread widely and rapidly. Jeremy Bentham (/ˈbɛnθəm/; 15 February 1748 [O.S. Al gauw ging zijn aandacht echter meer uit naar de ontwikkeling … [111] In 2017, plans were announced to re-exhibit the head and at the same time obtain a DNA sample for sequencing with the goal of identifying genetic evidence of autism. It set up the Bentham Project[101] to undertake the task, and the first volume in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham was published in 1968. Pickersgill, 1829; in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Philosopher . [37] Eventually Bentham turned to a site at Tothill Fields, near Westminster. The principle of utility, or "greatest happiness principle," forms the cornerstone of all Bentham's thought. Thus, the Rationale of Judicial Evidence, 5 vol. It was later locked away. He was accused of having underestimated both the intrinsic difficulties of the task and the need for diversity of institutions adapted to the tradition and civilization of different countries. The more up-to-date scholarship of Bentham specialists revealed a more rigorous and systematic thinker than the legendary muddled utilitarian that Bentham had appeared to be to earlier generations. The more direct associations between Bentham and UCL—the College's custody of his Auto-icon (see above) and of the majority of his surviving papers—postdate his death by some years: the papers were donated in 1849, and the Auto-icon in 1850. This appeared in 11 volumes in 1838–1843. In November he entered Lincoln’s Inn (see Inns of Court) to study law and took his seat as a student in the King’s Bench division of the High Court, where he listened with rapture to the judgments of Chief Justice Lord Mansfield. Bentham did not object to medical experiments on animals, providing that the experiments had in mind a particular goal of benefit to humanity, and had a reasonable chance of achieving that goal. "[6][7] He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. The great work on which he had been engaged for many years, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, was published in 1789. A large painting by Henry Tonks hanging in UCL's Flaxman Gallery depicts Bentham approving the plans of the new university, but it was executed in 1922 and the scene is entirely imaginary. It was Samuel (as Jeremy later repeatedly acknowledged) who conceived the basic idea of a circular building at the hub of a larger compound as a means of allowing a small number of managers to oversee the activities of a large and unskilled workforce. As the hedonic calculus shows "expectation utilities" to be much higher than natural ones, it follows that Bentham does not favour the sacrifice of a few to the benefit of the many. [28], The Panopticon was intended to be cheaper than the prisons of his time, as it required fewer staff; "Allow me to construct a prison on this model," Bentham requested to a Committee for the Reform of Criminal Law, "I will be the gaoler. [20][incomplete short citation] He had one surviving sibling, Samuel Bentham (1757–1831), with whom he was close. Again, therefore, the scheme ground to a halt. In 1823 he helped to found the Westminster Review to spread the principles of philosophical radicalism. The services of Étienne Dumont in recasting as well as translating the works of Bentham were still more important. [21] When the American colonies published their Declaration of Independence in July 1776, the British government did not issue any official response but instead secretly commissioned London lawyer and pamphleteer John Lind to publish a rebuttal. Even today, they have been completely rejected by almost every common law jurisdiction, including England. 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). He supported in principle the participation of women in government and argued for the reform of marriage law to allow greater freedom to divorce. His Victorian editor, Sir John Bowring, had cut from Bentham’s work much that was both original and well argued. His later works on political economy followed the laissez-faire principle, though with modifications. [35], The intended site was one that had been authorised (under an act of 1779) for the earlier Penitentiary, at Battersea Rise; but the new proposals ran into technical legal problems and objections from the local landowner, Earl Spencer. It is kept on public display at the main entrance of the UCL Student Centre. 1978). possible through an experimental handwritten text image indexing and search system,[107] developed by the PRHLT research center in the framework of the READ project. "[71] Thus, some critics[who?] Not even the formula of which he made so much, “the greatest happiness of the greatest number,” possesses a definite meaning. To the end of his life he could not hear of Bowood without tears swimming in his eyes, and he was forced to exclaim, "Take me forward, I entreat you, to the future—do not let me go back to the past. He was an advanced student and at only age 12, he was accepted into Queen's College. Sebagai seorang cendekiawan yang brilian, Bentham masuk Queen College, Oxford, pada umur dua belas dan diterima di Lincoln Inn pada usia lima belas tahun., Boleh dikatakan bahwa ketika masih kecil ia … The edition was described by the Edinburgh Review on first publication as "incomplete, incorrect and ill-arranged", and has since been repeatedly criticised both for its omissions and for errors of detail; while Bowring's memoir of Bentham's life included in volumes 10 and 11 was described by Sir Leslie Stephen as "one of the worst biographies in the language". Jeremy Bentham was a noted English philosopher, jurist, and social reformer, best remembered for his theory of utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham - Philosophers, Birthday, Personal Life - Jeremy Bentham Biography Check out Brilliant: Check out my other channel TopTenz! [citation needed], Bentham stated that pleasures and pains can be ranked according to their value or "dimension" such as intensity, duration, certainty of a pleasure or a pain. The Collected Works are providing many unpublished works, as well as much-improved texts of works already published. "[56], A psychobiographical study by Philip Lucas and Anne Sheeran argues that he may have had Asperger's syndrome. In 1760 he went to Queen’s College, Oxford, and took his degree in 1763. Bentham's students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill, the latter's son, John Stuart Mill, the legal philosopher John Austin, American writer and activist John Neal, as well as Robert Owen, one of the founders of utopian socialism. Jeremy Bentham. [83] Bentham does not believe homosexual acts to be unnatural, describing them merely as "irregularities of the venereal appetite". Bentham and his ideas can nonetheless be seen as having inspired several of the actual founders of the University. If reason alone were the criterion by which we judge who ought to have rights, human infants and adults with certain forms of disability might fall short, too. [64] Using these measurements, he reviews the concept of punishment and when it should be used as far as whether a punishment will create more pleasure or more pain for a society. He is best known as an early advocate of utilitarianism and animal rights who influenced the development of liberalism. Jeremy Bentham is associated in criminology with his invention of the 'Panopticon.' The skeleton was then reconstructed, supplied with a wax head to replace the original (which had been mummified), dressed in Bentham’s own clothes and set upright in a glass-fronted case. [85], Bentham distinguished among fictional entities what he called "fabulous entities" like Prince Hamlet or a centaur, from what he termed "fictitious entities", or necessary objects of discourse, similar to Kant's categories,[86] such as nature, custom, or the social contract. He had by now decided that he wanted to see the prison built: when finished, it would be managed by himself as contractor-governor, with the assistance of Samuel. Bentham’s first book, A Fragment on Government, appeared in 1776. [57] Most of what appeared in print in his lifetime[91] was prepared for publication by others. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. An insight into his character is given in Michael St. John Packe's The Life of John Stuart Mill: During his youthful visits to Bowood House, the country seat of his patron Lord Lansdowne, he had passed his time at falling unsuccessfully in love with all the ladies of the house, whom he courted with a clumsy jocularity, while playing chess with them or giving them lessons on the harpsichord. Jeremy Bentham Biography Jeremy Bentham was focussed into his academic circuit from the early years and was also called the “philosopher “. He habitually worked on several projects simultaneously without finishing the… [19] He learnt to play the violin, and at the age of seven Bentham would perform sonatas by Handel during dinner parties. [citation needed], To assist in this task, the Bentham papers at UCL are being digitised by crowdsourcing their transcription. When the essay was published in the Journal of Homosexuality in 1978, the "Abstract" stated that Bentham's essay was the "first known argument for homosexual law reform in England. His work is considered to be an early precursor of modern welfare economics. Penitentiary House, etc. [48] As a result of his correspondence with Mirabeau and other leaders of the French Revolution, Bentham was declared an honorary citizen of France. The volume Of Laws in General (1970) was found to contain many errors and has been replaced by Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence (2010)[102] In June 2017, Volumes 1–5 were re-published in open access by UCL Press. He strongly believed that education should be more widely available, particularly to those who were not wealthy or who did not belong to the established church; in Bentham's time, membership of the Church of England and the capacity to bear considerable expenses were required of students entering the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. In December 1763 he managed to hear Sir William Blackstone lecture at Oxford but said that he immediately detected fallacies that underlay the grandiloquent language of the future judge. Jeremy Bentham attended Westminster School (1755–60), then a private boarding school for boys, and Queen’s College, Oxford (B.A. Bentham was born on 15 February 1748 in Houndsditch, London,[18] to a wealthy family that supported the Tory party. By "happiness," he understood a predominance of "pleasure" over "pain." London: T. Payne. [33] In 1791, he published the material he had written as a book, although he continued to refine his proposals for many years to come. He was the elder son of an attorney, Jeremiah Bentham(1712–92) and his first wife, Alicia Whitehorn (d. 1759), andbrother to Samuel (1757–1831), a naval architect and diplomat.Bentham’s later interest in educational reform was stimulated byhis unhappy experiences at Westminster School (1755–60) andQueen’s College, Oxford (BA 1763, MA 1766). His mother was a deeply religious individual. Hij heeft de ontwikkeling van het liberalisme sterk beïnvloed. The object of all legislation must be the “greatest happiness of the greatest number.” He deduced from the principle of utility that, since all punishment involves pain and is therefore evil, it ought only to be used “so far as it promises to exclude some greater evil.”. Complete Jeremy Bentham 2017 Biography. [18], Afterward, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the "Auto-icon", with the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham's clothes. Bentham was born in Spitalfields, London on 15 February 1748, the son of a wealthy Tory attorney. The first, and earliest, theme was a relentless and comprehensive critique of common-law theory and, indeed, an attack on the…. He wrote that otherwise he had a "decided and insuperable objection" to causing pain to animals, in part because of the harmful effects such practices might have on human beings. [50][51], Bentham contributed to a plan to found a new colony in South Australia: in 1831 a "Proposal to His Majesty's Government for founding a colony on the Southern Coast of Australia" was prepared under the auspices of Robert Gouger, Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, Anthony Bacon and Bentham, but its ideas were considered too radical, and it was unable to attract the required investment. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. [115], Bentham's name was adopted by the Australian litigation funder IMF Limited to become Bentham IMF Limited on 28 November 2013, in recognition of Bentham being "among the first to support the utility of litigation funding". object, it would be acceptable to torture one person if this would produce an amount of happiness in other people outweighing the unhappiness of the tortured individual. [52], In 1823, he co-founded The Westminster Review with James Mill as a journal for the "Philosophical Radicals"—a group of younger disciples through whom Bentham exerted considerable influence in British public life. “Morals reformed, health preserved, industry invigorated, instruction diffused” and other similar desiderata would, he thought, be the result if his scheme for a model prison, the “Panopticon,” were to be adopted; and for many years he tried to induce the government to adopt it. Because of his arguments in favour of the general availability of education, he has been described as the "spiritual founder" of UCL. Bowring based much of his edition on previously published texts (including those of Dumont) rather than Bentham's own manuscripts, and elected not to publish Bentham's works on religion at all. Jeremy Bentham is important for being one of the founders of modern utilitarianism, a main current of philosophical ethics since the late 18th century, for his defense of psychological and ethical hedonism, and for his far-reaching proposals for the reform of Parliament, the legal code, the judiciary, and the prison system in Britain. It is also a very good essay on sovereignty. Bentham’s assumptions about what makes for happiness are often quite ordinary and sensible; the reader can accept them and still insist that happiness is not to be defined in terms of pleasure and is not to be measured. Act: 52 Geo. His mother, Alicia Whitehorn née Grove, was a pious woman; Jeremiah was … He was reportedly a child prodigy: he was found as a toddler sitting at his father's desk reading a multi-volume history of England, and he began to study Latin at the age of three. 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, 1748. Bentham writes about this principle as it manifests itself within the legislation of a society.[64]. [49] He was an outspoken critic of the revolutionary discourse of natural rights and of the violence that arose after the Jacobins took power (1792). After unsuccessful attempts to interest the authorities in Ireland and revolutionary France,[34] he started trying to persuade the prime minister, William Pitt, to revive an earlier abandoned scheme for a National Penitentiary in England, this time to be built as a panopticon. His place of birth was in Houndsditch in London. Bentham was born on 15 February 1748 in Houndsditch, London, to a wealthy family that supported the Tory party. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Bentham had been brought up a Tory, but the influence of the political theory of the Enlightenment served to make a democrat of him. "[4][15] Bentham was also a sharp critic of legal fictions. To date, 31 volumes have appeared; the complete edition is projected to run to around seventy. [116], British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer, Topics (overviews, concepts, issues, cases), Media (books, films, periodicals, albums), Abortive prison project and the Panopticon, Correspondence and contemporary influences, An Act for the More Effectual Prevention of Depredations on the River Thames (39 & 40 Geo 3 c 87), An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation: Chapter I: OF THE PRINCIPLE OF UTILITY, sfn error: no target: CITEREFBentham2008 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFWarren1969 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFBentham1787 (. Partly through his work many political, legal, and penal reforms were enacted by Parliament. Jeremy Bentham was born on 15 February 1748 in Houndsditch, London into a wealthy family which supported the Tory party. [55] Another was Edwin Chadwick, who wrote on hygiene, sanitation and policing and was a major contributor to the Poor Law Amendment Act: Bentham employed Chadwick as a secretary and bequeathed him a large legacy.[47]:94. After Bentham’s death, in accordance with his directions, his body was dissected in the presence of his friends. "[16], On his death in 1832, Bentham left instructions for his body to be first dissected, and then to be permanently preserved as an "auto-icon" (or self-image), which would be his memorial. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Bentham was a leading liberal thinker, and often took views significantly ahead of his time. He trained as a lawyer and, though he never practised, was called to the bar in 1769. Jeremy Bentham's birthday and biography. 4 February 1747] – 6 June 1832) was a British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer. Th… He became deeply frustrated with t… John Bowring, the young radical writer who had been Bentham's intimate friend and disciple, was appointed his literary executor and charged with the task of preparing a collected edition of his works. Although he spent 7 or 8 hours daily on his writing for more than 50 years, virtually all his published books are the product of editors. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? He focused on monetary expansion as a means of helping to create full employment. Jeremy Bentham would readily have admitted to being a man of words rather than action. [76] In 1780, alluding to the limited degree of legal protection afforded to slaves in the French West Indies by the Code Noir, he wrote:[76]:309n. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? [39], From his point of view, the site was far from ideal, being marshy, unhealthy, and too small. Bentham became a frequent guest at Shelburne’s home. In Bentham and the Common Law Tradition, Gerald J. Postema states: "No moral concept suffers more at Bentham's hand than the concept of justice. The English philosopher, political theorist, and jurist Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) expounded the ethical doctrine known as utilitarianism. Southwood Smith's experimental efforts at mummification, based on practices of the indigenous people of New Zealand and involving placing the head under an air pump over sulfuric acid and drawing off the fluids, although technically successful, left the head looking distastefully macabre, with dried and darkened skin stretched tautly over the skull. Learn more. [10] He has also become known as an early advocate of animal rights. Jeremy Bentham Family, Childhood, Life Achievements, Facts, Wiki and Bio of 2017. Jeremy Bentham, a political philosopher, legal reformer and pioneer of utilitarianism, was born in Hounds-ditch, London. Jeremy Bentham makes an appearance in three episodes of the TV series "Lost." BENTHAM, JEREMY (1748–1882), writer on jurisprudence, was born in Red Lion Street, Houndsditch, on 15 Feb. 1747-8. [a] The bill created the Thames River Police, which was the first preventive police force in the country and was a precedent for Robert Peel's reforms 30 years later. He describedWestminster as “a wretched place for instruction”(1838–43, X, 30), while … New York: Columbia University Press, 1963. Both this effigy and the head are preserved in University College London. Since 1959 (when the Bentham Committee was first established) UCL has hosted the Bentham Project, which is progressively publishing a definitive edition of Bentham's writings. Mill considered Bentham's view "to have done and to be doing very serious evil. He argues that the concept of the individual pursuing his or her own happiness cannot be necessarily declared "right", because often these individual pursuits can lead to greater pain and less pleasure for a society as a whole. It is true that the particular scheme that he worked out was bizarre and spoiled by the elaborate detail that he loved., The Library of Economics and Liberty - Biography of Jeremy Bentham, Crime Museum - Biography of Jeremy Bentham, The Victorian Web - Biography of Jeremy Bentham, Stanford University - Biography of Jeremy Bentham, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Biography of Jeremy Bentham, Jeremy Bentham - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation.
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