Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
LIFE. A leading theorist in Anglo-American
philosophy of law and one of the 'founders' of utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham was born in Houndsditch, in London, on 15 February
1748. He was the son and grandson of attorneys, and his early family life was coloured 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 wake,
the rise of the middle class, revolutions in France and America--all were reflected in Bentham's reflections on existing institutions.
In 1760 Bentham entered Queen's College, Oxford and, upon graduation in 1764, studied law at Lincoln's Inn. 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 he 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 gave the essential principles of his views on this topic. His most important theoretical work is the Introduction
to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789), in which much of his moral theory--which he said reflected 'the greatest
happiness principle'--is described and developed.
In 1781, Bentham 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. In 1785, he briefly joined his brother Samuel, in Russia,
where he pursued his writing with even more than his usual intensity, and 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 in 1788, and for some 20 years thereafter, Bentham pursued--fruitlessly
and at great expense--the idea of the panopticon. Fortunately, an inheritance received in 1796 provided him with financial
stability. By the late 1790s, 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 in 1792 and his The Theory of Legislation was published first, in French, by his Swiss disciple, Etienne Dumont,
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 1832 (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 1832) reflected Benthamite concerns. The impact of Bentham's ideas goes further still. Contemporary philosophical and economic
vocabulary (e.g., '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 manuscripts), as well as the legal theorist, John Austin.
At his death in London, on 6 June 1832, 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--used to finance the newly-established University College,
London (for those individuals excluded from university education--i.e., non-conformists, Catholics and Jews)--and his cadaver
which, per his instructions, was dissected, embalmed, dressed, and placed in a chair, and resides in a cabinet in a corridor
of the main building of University College to this day. The Bentham Project, set up in the early 1960s at University College,
has, as its aim, the publishing of a definitive, scholarly edition of Bentham's works and correspondence.
METHOD. Influenced by the 'philosophes' of the Enlightenment (such as Beccaria, Helvétius, Diderot, D'Alembert,
and Voltaire), but also by Locke and Hume, Bentham's work combined an empiricist approach with a rationalism that emphasized
conceptual clarity and deductive argument. Locke's influence was primarily as the author of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding--and
Bentham saw in him a model of one who emphasised 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
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, was to run the risk
of confusion or cause positive deceit. While, in some cases, such 'fictional' terms such 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.
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 behaviour can be explained by
reference to the two primary motives of pleasure and pain; this is the theory of psychological hedonism.
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. At the beginning of the Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Bentham
writes that "[n]ature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them
alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and
wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we
say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it".
From this we see that, for Bentham, pleasure and pain serve not only as explanations for action, but also define one's good.
It is, in short, on the basis of pleasures and pains, which can exist only in individuals, that Bentham thought one could
construct a calculus of value.
Related to this fundamental hedonism is a view of the individual as exhibiting a natural
rational self-interest-- a psychological egoism. In his "Remarks on Bentham's Philosophy," (1833) Mill cites Bentham's The
Book of Fallacies (London: Hunt, 1824, pp. 392-3) that "[i]n every human breast... self-regarding interest is predominant
over social interest; each person's own individual interest over the interests of all other persons taken together." Fundamental
to the nature and activity of individuals, then, is their own well-being, and reason--as a natural capability of the person--is
considered to be subservient to this end.
Bentham believed that the nature of the human person can be adequately described
without mention of social relationships. To begin with, the idea of "relation" is but a "fictitious entity", though necessary
for 'convenience of discourse.' And, more specifically, he remarks that "the community is a fictitious body," and it is but
"the sum of the interests of the several members who compose it". Thus, the extension of the term 'individual' is, in the
main, no greater and no less than the biological entity. Bentham's view, then, is that the individual--the basic unit of the
social sphere--is an "atom" and there is no 'self' or 'individual' greater than the human individual. A person's relations
with others--even if important--are not essential and describe nothing that is, strictly speaking, necessary to its being
what it is.
Finally, the picture of the human person presented by Bentham is based on a psychological associationism
indebted to David Hartley and David Hume; Bentham's analysis of 'habit' (which is essential to his understanding of society
and, especially, political society) particularly reflects associationist presuppositions. On this view, pleasure and pain
are objective states and can be measured in terms of their intensity, duration, certainty, proximity, fecundity and purity.
This allows, then, both for an objective determination of an activity or state and for a comparison with others.
understanding of human nature reveals, in short, not only a psychological and ontological, but a moral, individualism where,
to extend the critique of utilitarianism made by Graeme Duncan and John Gray, ("The Left Against Mill," in New Essays on John
Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism, Eds. Wesley E. Cooper, Kai Nielsen and Steven C. Patten, 1979) "the individual human being
is conceived as the source of values and as himself the supreme value."
MORAL PHILOSOPHY. As Elie Halévy notes, there are three principal characteristics of which constitute the basis
of Bentham's moral and political philosophy: the greatest happiness principle, universal egoism and the artificial identification
of one's interests with those of others. Though these characteristics are present throughout his work, they are particularly
evident in the Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, where Bentham is concerned with articulating rational
principles that would provide a basis, and guide, for legal, social and moral reform.
To begin with, Bentham's moral
philosophy reflects what he calls at different times 'the greatest happiness principle' or 'the principle of utility'--a term
which he borrows from Hume. In adverting to this principle, however, he was not referring to just the usefulness of things
or actions, but to the extent to which these things or actions promote the general happiness. Specifically, then, what is
morally obligatory is that which produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people, happiness being
determined by reference to the presence of pleasure and the absence of pain. Thus, Bentham writes, "By the principle of utility
is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears
to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question: or, what is the same thing in other
words, to promote or to oppose that happiness." And Bentham emphasises that this applies to "every action whatsoever." That
which does not maximize the greatest happiness (such as an act of pure ascetic sacrifice) is, therefore, morally wrong. (Unlike
some of the previous attempts at articulating a universal hedonism, Bentham's approach is thoroughly naturalistic.)
moral philosophy, then, clearly reflects his psychological view that the primary motivators in human beings are pleasure and
pain. Bentham admits that his version of the principle of utility is something that does not admit of direct proof--but he
notes that this is not a problem as some explanatory principles do not admit of any such proof, and all explanation must start
somewhere. But this, by itself, does not explain why another's happiness--or the general happiness--should count. And, in
fact, he provides a number of suggestions that could serve as answers to the question of why we should be concerned with the
happiness of others.
First, Bentham says, the principle of utility is something to which individuals, in acting, refer
either explicitly or implicitly--and this is something that can be ascertained and confirmed by simple observation. Indeed,
Bentham held that all existing systems of morality can be "reduced to the principles of sympathy and antipathy"--which is
precisely that which defines utility. A second argument found in Bentham is that, if pleasure is the good, then it is good
irrespective of whose pleasure it is. Thus, a moral injunction to pursue or maximize pleasure has force independently of the
specific interests of the person acting. Bentham also suggests that individuals would reasonably seek the general happiness
simply because the interests of others are inextricably bound up with their own--though he recognised that this is something
that is easy for individuals to ignore. Nevertheless, Bentham envisages a solution to this as well. Specifically, he proposes
that making this identification of interests obvious and, when necessary, bringing diverse interests together, would be the
responsibility of the legislator.
Finally, there are, Bentham held, advantages to a moral philosophy based on a principle
of utility. To begin with, the principle of utility is (compared to other moral principles) clear, allows for objective and
disinterested public discussion, and enables decisions to be made where there seem to be conflicts of (prima facie) legitimate
interests. Moreover, in calculating the pleasures and pains involved in carrying out a course of action-- the 'hedonic calculus'--there
is a fundamental commitment to human equality. The principle of utility presupposes that 'one man is worth just the same as
another man' and so there is a guarantee that, in calculating the greatest happiness "each person is to count for one and
no one for more than one."
For Bentham, then, there was no inconsistency between his psychological hedonism and egoism,
and the greatest happiness principle. Thus, moral philosophy or ethics can be simply described as "the art of directing men's
action to the production of the greatest possible quantity of happiness, on the part of those whose interest is in view".
Bentham was regarded as the central figure of a group of intellectuals called, by Elie Halévy, "the philosophic radicals";
both J. S. Mill and Herbert Spencer can be counted among the 'spiritual descendants' of this group. While it would be too
strong to claim that the ideas of the philosophic radicals reflected a common political theory, it is nevertheless correct
to say that they agreed that many of the social problems of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century England were due
to an antiquated legal system and to the control of the economy by a hereditary landed gentry opposed to modern capitalist
institutions. As discussed in the preceding section, for Bentham, the principles that govern morals also govern politics and
law, and political reform required a clear understanding of human nature. While he develops a number of principles already
present in Anglo-Saxon political philosophy, he breaks with that tradition in significant ways.
In his earliest work,
A Fragment on Government (1776) (an excerpt from a longer work published only in 1928 as Comment on Blackstone's Commentaries),
Bentham attacked the legal theory of Sir William Blackstone. Bentham's target was, primarily, Blackstone's defense of tradition
in law. Bentham advocated the rational revision of the legal system, a restructuring of the process of determining responsibility
and of punishment and a more extensive freedom of contract. This, he believed, would favour not only the development of the
community, but the personal development of the individual.
Bentham's attack on Blackstone targeted more than the latter's
use of tradition, however. Against Blackstone and against a number of earlier thinkers, including Locke, Bentham repudiated
many of the concepts underlying their political philosophies, such as natural right, state of nature, and 'social contract'.
Bentham's work, then, attempted to outline positive alternatives to the preceding 'traditionalisms.' Not only did he work
to reform and restructure existing institutions but he promoted broader suffrage and self (i.e., representative) government.
Law, Liberty and Government: The notion of liberty present in Bentham's account is what is now generally referred
to as 'negative' liberty--freedom from external restraint or compulsion. Bentham says that "[l]iberty is the absence of restraint"
and, so, to the extent that one is not hindered by others, one has liberty and is 'free'. Bentham denies that liberty is 'natural'
(in the sense of existing 'prior to' social life and as thereby imposing limits on the state) or that there is an a priori
sphere of liberty in which the individual is sovereign. In fact, Bentham holds that people have always lived in society, and
so there can be no state of nature (though he does distinguish between political society and 'natural society') and no 'social
contract' (a notion which he held was not only unhistorical but pernicious). Nevertheless, he does note that there is an important
distinction between one's public and private life that has morally significant consequences, and he holds that liberty is
a good--that, even though it is not something that is a fundamental value, it reflects the greatest happiness principle.
with this account of liberty, Bentham (as Hobbes before him) viewed law as 'negative.' Given that pleasure and pain are fundamental
to--indeed, provide--the standard of value for Bentham, liberty, because 'pleasant', was a good and its restriction, because
'painful', was an evil. Law, which is by its very nature a restriction of liberty and painful to those whose freedom is restricted,
is a prima facie evil. It is only so far as control by the state is limited that the individual is free. Law is, Bentham recognized,
necessary to social order and good laws are clearly essential to good government. Indeed, perhaps more than Locke, Bentham
saw the positive role to be played by law and government, particularly in achieving community well-being. To the extent that
law advances and protects one's economic and personal goods, and that what government there is, is self- government, law reflects
the interests of the individual.
Unlike many earlier thinkers, Bentham held that law is not rooted in a 'natural law'
but is simply a command an expression of the will of the sovereign. (This account of law, later developed by Austin, is characteristic
of legal positivism.) Thus, a law that commands morally questionable or morally evil actions, or that is not based on consent,
is still 'law.'
Rights: Bentham's views on rights are, perhaps, best known through the attacks on the concept of 'natural
rights' that appear throughout his work. These criticisms are especially developed in his Anarchical Fallacies (a polemical
attack on the declarations of rights issued in France during the French Revolution), written between 1791 and 1795, but not
published until 1816, in French. Bentham's criticisms here are rooted in his understanding of the nature of law. Rights are
created by the law, and law is simply a command of the sovereign. The existence of law and rights, therefore, requires government.
Rights are also usually (though not necessarily) correlative with duties determined by the law and, as in Hobbes, are either
those which the law explicitly gives us, or those where, within a legal system, the law is silent. The view that there could
be rights, not based on sovereign command, and which pre-exist the establishment of government, is rejected.
to Bentham, then, the term 'natural right' is a "perversion of language." It is "ambiguous," "sentimental" and "figurative"
and it has anarchical consequences. At best, such a 'right' may tell us what we ought to do; it cannot serve as a legal restriction
on what we can or cannot do. The term 'natural right' is ambiguous, Bentham says, because it suggests that there are general
rights--that is, rights over no specific object--so that one would have a claim on whatever one chooses. The effect of exercising
such a universal, natural 'right' would be to extinguish the right altogether, since "what is every man's right is no man's
right." No legal system could function with such a broad conception of rights. Thus, there cannot be any general rights in
the sense suggested by the French declarations.
The notion of 'natural rights' is, moreover, figurative. Properly
speaking, there are no rights anterior to government. The assumption of the existence of such rights, Bentham says, seems
to be derived from the theory of the social contract. Here, individuals form a society and choose a government through the
alienation of certain of their `rights'. But such a doctrine is not only unhistorical, according to Bentham, it does not even
serve as a useful fiction to explain the origin of political authority. Governments arise by habit or by force and, for contracts
(and, specifically, some 'original contract') to bind, there must already be a government in place to enforce them .
the idea of a natural right is "anarchical." Such a right, Bentham claims, entails a freedom from all restraint and, in particular,
from all legal restraint. Since a natural right would be anterior to law, it could not be limited by law and, since human
beings are motivated by self interest, if everyone had such freedom, the result would be pure anarchy. To have a right in
any meaningful sense entails that others cannot legitimately interfere with one's rights, and this implies that rights must
be capable of enforcement. Such restriction, as noted earlier, is the province of the law.
Bentham concludes, therefore,
that the term "[n]atural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense,--nonsense upon
stilts." Rights--what Bentham calls "real" rights--then, are fundamentally legal rights. All rights must be legal and specific
(that is, having both a specific object and subject). They ought to be made because of their conduciveness to "the general
mass of felicity" and, correlatively, when their abolition would be to the advantage of society, rights ought to be abolished.
So far as rights exist in law, they are protected; outside of law, they are at best "reasons for wishing there were such things
as rights." While Bentham's essays against natural rights are largely polemical, many of his objections continue to be influential
in contemporary political philosophy.
Nevertheless, Bentham did not dismiss talk of rights altogether. There are some
services that are essential to the happiness of human beings and that cannot be left to others to fulfill as they see fit,
and so these individuals must be compelled, on pain of punishment, to fulfill them. They must, in other words, respect the
rights of others. Thus, although Bentham was generally suspicious of the concept of 'right,' he does allow that the term is
useful and, in such work as A General View of a Complete Code of Laws, he enumerates a large number of rights. While the meaning
he assigns to these 'rights' is largely stipulative rather than descriptive, they clearly reflect principles defended throughout
There has been some debate over the extent to which the rights that Bentham defends are based on, or reducible
to, duties or obligations, whether he can consistently maintain that such duties or obligations are based on the principle
of utility, and whether the existence of what Bentham calls 'permissive rights'--rights one has where the law is silent--is
consistent with his general utilitarian view. (This latter point has been discussed at length by H.L.A. Hart and David Lyons.)
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BENTHAM'S
The standard edition of Bentham's writings is The Works of Jeremy Bentham, (ed. John Bowring), London, 1838-1843;
Reprinted New York, 1962. The contents are as follows:
Volume 1: Introduction; An Introduction to the Principles of
Morals and Legislation; Essay on the Promulgation of Laws, Essay on the Influence of Time and Place in matters of Legislation,
A Table of the Springs of Action, A Fragment on Government: or A Comment on the Commentaries; Principles of the Civil Code;
Principles of Penal law
Volume 2: Principles of Judicial Procedure, with the outlines of a Procedural Code; The Rationale
of Reward; Leading Principles of A Constitutional Code, for any state; On the Liberty of the Press, and public discussion;
The Book of Fallacies, from unfinished papers; Anarchical Fallacies; Principles of International Law; A Protest Against law
taxes; Supply without Burden; Tax with Monopoly.
Volume 3: Defence of Usury; A Manual of Political Economy; Observations
on the Restrictive and Prohibitory Commercial System; A Plan for saving all trouble and expense in the transfer of stock;
A General View of a Complete Code of Laws; Pannomial Fragments; Nomography, or the art of inditing laws; Equal Dispatch Court
Bill; Plan of parliamentary Reform, in the form of a catechism; Radical Reform Bill; Radicalism not Dangerous.
4: A View of the Hard Labour Bill; Panopticon, or, the inspection house; Panopticon versus New South Wales; A Plea for the
Constitution; Draught of a Code for the Organisation of Judicial establishment in France; Bentham's Draught for the Organisation
of Judicial establishments, compared with that of a national assembly; Emancipate your colonies; Jeremy Bentham to his fellow
citizens of France, on houses of peers and Senates; Papers Relative to Codification and Public Instruction; Codification Proposal
Volume 5: Scotch Reform; Summary View of the Plan of a Judiciary, under the name of the court of lord's delegates;
The Elements of the Art of Packing; "Swear Not At All,"; Truth versus Ashhurst; The King against Edmonds and others; The King
against Sir Charles Wolseley and Joseph Harrison; Optical Aptitude Maximized, expense minimized; A Commentary on Mr Humphreys'
Real Property Code; Outline of a Plan of a General Register of Real Property; Justice and Codification Petitions; Lord Brougham
Volume 6: An Introductory View of the rationale of Evidence; Rationale of Judicial Evidence, specially
applied to English Practice, Books I-IV
Volume 7: Rationale of Judicial Evidence, specially applied to English Practice,
Volume 8: Chrestomathia; A Fragment on Ontology; Essay on Logic; Essay on language; Fragments on Universal
Grammar; Tracts on Poor Laws and pauper management; Observations on the Poor Bill; Three Tracts Relative to Spanish and Portuguese
Affairs; Letters to Count Toreno, on the proposed penal code; Securities against Misrule
Volume 9: The Constitutional
Volume 10: Memoirs of Bentham, Chapters I-XXII
Volume 11: Memoirs of Bentham, Chapters XXIII-XXVI; Analytical
A new edition of Bentham's Works is being prepared by The Bentham Project at University College, University
of London. This edition includes:
The correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Ed. Timothy L. S. Sprigge, 10 vols., London
: Athlone Press, 1968-1984. [Vol. 3 edited by I.R. Christie; Vol. 4-5 edited by Alexander Taylor Milne; Vol. 6-7 edited by
J.R. Dinwiddy; Vol. 8 edited by Stephen Conway].
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Ed.
J.H. Burns and H.L.A. Hart, London: The Athlone Press, 1970.
Of laws in general. London: Athlone Press, 1970.
Comment on the Commentaries and A Fragment on Government, Ed. J.H. Burns and H.L.A. Hart, London: The Athlone Press, 1977.
Chrestomathia, Ed. M. J. Smith, and W. H. Burston, Oxford/New York : Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press, 1983.
Deontology ; together with A table of the springs of action ; and the Article on Utilitarianism. Ed. Amnon Goldworth,
Oxford/New York : Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press, 1983.
Constitutional code : vol. I . Ed. F. Rosen and
J. H. Burns, Oxford/New York : Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press, 1983.
Securities against misrule and other
constitutional writings for Tripoli and Greece. Ed. Philip Schofield, Oxford/New York : Clarendon Press ; Oxford University
Official aptitude maximized : expense minimized. Ed. Philip Schofield, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1993.
Colonies, commerce, and constitutional law : Rid yourselves of Ultramaria and other writings on Spain and Spanish
America. Ed. Philip Schofield, Oxford/New York : Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press, 1995.
Select list of secondary
Halévy, Elie. La formation du radicalisme philosophique, 3 vols. Paris, 1904 [The Growth of Philosophic Radicalism.
Tr. Mary Morris. London: Faber & Faber, 1928.]
Harrison, Ross. Bentham. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983.
Hart, H.L.A. "Bentham on Legal Rights," in Oxford Essays in
Jurisprudence (second series), ed. A.W.B. Simpson
(Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1973), pp. 171-201.
Lyons, David. "Rights, Claimants and Beneficiaries," in American
Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 6 (1969), pp. 173-185.
MacCunn, John. Six Radical Thinkers, second impression, London,
Mack, Mary Peter. Jeremy Bentham: An Odyssey of Ideas 1748-1792. London: Heinemann, 1962.
The Mind of Jeremy Bentham, London: Longmans, 1968.
Plamenatz, John. The English Utilitarians. Oxford, 1949.
Leslie. The English Utilitarians. 3 vols., London: Duckworth, 1900.
William Sweet -- firstname.lastname@example.org
A very complete listing of the published works by Jeremy
Bentham followed by a listing of works on him
Published Works of Jeremy Bentham
1. A Fragment on Government; being an examination of what is delivered,
on the subject of Government in General in the introduction of Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries; with a preface, in which
is given a critique on the work at large, anonymous (London, T. Payne, P. Elmsly & E. Brooke, 1776).
2. A View of the Hard-Labour Bill, Being an Abstract of a Pamphlet, Intituled,
"Draught of a Bill, to Punish by Imprisonment and Hard-Labour, Certain Offenders' and to Establish Proper Places for their
Reception." Interspersed with Observations Relative to the Subject of the Above Draught in Particular, and to Penal Jurisprudence
in General (London, T. Payne, T.Cadell, P. Elmsley & E. Brooke, 1778).
3. Defense of Usury; Shewing the Impolicy of the Present Legal Restraints
on the Terms of Pecuniary Bargains. In a Series of Letters to a Friend. To which is added a letter to Adam Smith, Esq. LL.D.
on the Discouragements Opposed by the Above Restraints to the Progress of Inventive Industry (London, T. Payne, 1787; Philadelphia,
Lang & Ustick, 1796).
4. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (London,
5. Draught of a New Plan for the Organization of the Judicial Establishment
in France; Proposed as a succedaneum to the draught presented, for the same purpose, by the Committee of Constitution, to
the National Assembly, December 21st, 1789 (London, 1790).
6. Essay on Political Tactics, (London, T. Payne, 1791).
7. "Panopticon": or, the Inspection-House; containing the idea of a new
principle of construction applicable to any sort of establishment, in which persons of any description are to be kept under
inspection; and in Particular to Penitentiary-houses, Prisons, Houses of industry, Workhouses, Poor Houses, Manufacturies,
Madhouses, Lazarettos, Hospitals, and Schools; with a plan of management adopted to the principle; in a series of letters,
written in the year 1787, from Crechoff in White Russia, to a friend in England (1 volume, Dublin, Thomas Byrne, 1791; 2 volumes,
London, T. Payne, 1791)
8. Panopticon: Postscript; Part I, Containing further particulars and
alterations relative to the plan of construction originally proposed; principally adapted to the purpose of a panopicon penitentiary-house
(London, T. Payne, 1791).
9. Panopticon: Postscript; Part II: Containing a plan of management for
a panopticon penitentiary-house (London, T. Payne, 1791).
10. J.B. to the National Convention of France (London, R. Heward, 1793).
11. A Protest against Law Taxes (Dublin, 1793); republished with Supply
without Burthen; or Escheat Vice Taxation (London, J. Debrett, 1795).
12. Management of the Poor, (Dublin, Moore, 1796).
13. Letters to Lord Pelham, Giving a Comparative View of the System of
Penal Colonization in New South Wales (London, Wilkes & Taylor, 1802).
14. Traités de legislation civile et pénale, 3 volumes, translated by
Etienne Dumont (Partis: Boussange, Masson & Besson, 1802); first published in English as Theory of Legislation, 1 volume,
translated by Richard Hildreth, (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1864).
15. A Plea for the Constitution (London, Mawman, Hatcher, 1803).
16. Scotch Reform; Considered with reference to the plan, proposed in
the late Parliament, for the regulation of the courts, and the administration of justice in Scotland... In a series of Letters,
Addressed to the Right Hon. Lord Grenville (London, J. Ridgway, 1808).
17. Théorie des peines et des récompenses, 2 volumes, translated by Dumont
(London, B. Dulau, 1811); first published in English as the Rationale of Reward, translated and edited by Richard Smith (London,
J. & H. Hunt, 1825) and The Rationale of Punishment, translated and edited by Smith (R. Heward, 1830).
18. Panopticon versus New South Wales; or, The Panopticon Penitentiary
System and the Penal Colonization System Compared, Containing 1. Two Letters to Lord Pelham. 2. Plea for the Constitution,
anno 1803, printed, now first published (London, 1812).
19. Pauper Management Improved; Particularly by Means of an Application
of the Panopticon Principle of Construction, Anno 1797, first published in Young's Annals of Agriculture; now first published
separately (London, R. Baldwin & J. Ridgway, 1812).
20. Tactiques de assemblée legislatives, suivi d'un traité des sophismes
politiques, 2 volumes, translated by Dumont (Geneva & Paris; J.J. Paschaud, 1816).
21. Chrestomathia, being a collection of papers, explanatory of the design
of an institution, proposed to be set on foot, under the name of the Chrestomathic Day School, or Chrestomathic School, for
the extension of the new system of instruction to the higher brances of learning, for the use of the middling and higher ranks
of life, 2 parts (London, Payne & Foss & J. Ridgway, part 1 1817, part 2, 1817).
22. A Table of the springs of Action, Shewing the Several Species of
Pleasures and Pains, of which Man's Nature is Susceptible (London, R. & A. Taylor, 1817).
23. "Swear Not at All"; Containing an Exposure of the Needlessness and
Mischievousness, as well as Anti-Christianity of the Ceremony of an Oath (London, R. Hunter, 1817).
24. Papers relative to Codification and Public Instruction; including
Correspondence with the Russian Emperor, and divers constituted authorities in the American United States (London, J. M'Creery,
25. Supplement to Papers on Codification (London, J. M'Creery, 1817).
26. Plan of Parliamentary Reform, in the Form of a Catechism, with reasons
for each Article, with an Introdution, shewing the necessity fo radical, and the inadequacy of moderate reform (London, R.
27. Church of Englandism and its Catechism Examined (London, E. Wilson,
28. Bentham's Radical Reform Bill (London, E. Wilson, 1819)
29. The King against Edmonds and Others: Set down for the trial, at Warwick,
on the 29th of March, 1820. Brief Remarks tending to show the untenability of this indictment (London, J. M'Creery, 1820).
30. The King against Sir Charles Wolseley, Baronet, and Joseph Harrison,
Schoolmaster; Set down for trial at Chester on the 4th of April, 1920. Brief remarks tending to show the untenability of this
indictment (London, J. M'Creery, 1920).
31. Observations on the Restrictive and Prohibitory Commercial System,
edited by John Bowring (London, E. Wilson, 1821).
32. The Elements of the Art of Packing, as Applied to Special Juries,
particularly in cases of Libel Law (London, E. Wilson, 1821).
33. Three Tracts Relative to Spanish and Portuguese Affairs; With a continual
eye to English ones (London, W. Hone, 1821).
34. On the Liberty of the Press and Public Discussions (London, W. Hone,
35. An Analysis of the Influence of Natural Religion on the Temporal
Happiness of Mankind, as Philip Beauchamp, edited by George Grote (London, R. Carlile, 1822).
36. Letters to Count Toreno on the Proposed Penal Code (London, E. Wilson,
37. Codification Proposal, Addressed by Jeremy Bentham to All Nations
Professing Liberal Opinions (London, J. M'Creery, 1822).
38. Truth Versus Ashurst; or Law As it Is, Contrasted with What It is
Said to Be (London, T. Moses, 1823).
39. Leading Principles of a Constitutional Code for Any State (London,
A. Valpy, 1823).
40. Traité des preuves judiciares, ouvrage extrait des manuscrits de
Jérémie Bentham, 2 volumes, translated by Dumont (Paris, Bossages fréres, 1823); first published in English as A Treatise
on Judicial Evidence, Extracted from the Manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham, Esq. by M. Dumont, 1 volume (London, Baldwin, Cradock
& Joy, 1825).
41. Not Paul, but Jesus, as Gamaliel Smith (London, John Hunt, 1823).
42. The Book of Fallacies, from the unfinished papers of Jeremy Bentham,
edited by Peregrine Bingham (London, J. & H.L. Hunt, 1824); republished as Bentham's Handbook of Political Fallacies (Baltimore,
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1952).
43. The Rationale of Reward (London, J. & H.L. Hunt, 1825).
44. Observations on Mr Secretary Peel's House of Commons Speech, 21st
March, 1825 (London, J. & H.W. Hunt, 1825).
45. Indications Respecting Lord Eldon (London, J. & H.W. Hunt, 1825).
46. Extract from the Proposed Constitutional Code, Entitled Official
Aptitude Maximised, Expense Minimised (London, 1826).
47. The Rationale of Judicial Evidence, Specially Applied to English
Practice, 5 volumes, edited by John Stuart Mill (London, Hunt & Clarke, 1827).
48. Justice and Codification Petitions (London, R. Heward, 1829).
49. Constitutional Code for use of all nations and governments professing
Liberal opinions, vol 1, (London, R. Heward, 1830).
50. Official Aptitude Maximised, Expense Minimised, as shown in the several
papers in this volume (London, R. Heward, 1830).
51. Emanicipate Your Colonies! Addressed to the National Convention of
France, 2° 1793 (London, R. Heward, 1830).
52. Equity Dispatch Court Proposal (London, R. Heward, 1830).
53. Jeremy Bentham to his Fellow-Citizens of France on Houses of Peers
and Senates (London, R. Heward, 1830).
54. Jeremy Bentham to his Fellow-Citizens of France, on Death Punishment
(London, R. Heward, 1831).
55. Lord Brougham Displayed; including I. Boa Constrictor... II. Observations
on the Bankruptcy Court Bill, now ripened into an Act. III. Extracts from Proposed Constitutional Code (London, R. Heward,
56. Deontology: or, the Science of Morality, 2 volumes, edited by John
Bowring (London, Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, 1834).
57. The Works of Jeremy Bentham, Published under the Supervision of His
Executor, John Bowring, 11 volumes (Edinburgh, W. Tait, 1838-1843).
58. A Comment on the Commentaries; a criticism of William Blackstone's
Commentaries on the Laws of England, edited by Charles Warren Everett (Oxford, Claredon Press, 1928).
59. Bentham's Theory of Fictions, edited by C.K. Ogden (London, Kegan
Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1932).
60. The Limits of Jurisprudence Defined, edited by Everett (New York,
Columbia University Press, 1945).
61. Jeremy Bentham's Economic Writings, 3 volumes, edited by W. Stark
(London, Allen & Unwin, 1952).
62. The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, edited by J.H. Burns, J.R.
Dinwiddy, and F. Rosen (volumes 1-5, London, Athlone Press, 1968-1981; volumes 6- , Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1984- ).
Atkinson, Charles Milner, 1905, Jeremy Bentham: his life
Avagliano, Lucio & Faucci, Riccardo, 1982, Gli Italiani e Bentham : dalla "felicità pubblica" all'economia
Bahmueller, Charles F., 1981, The National Charity Company : Jeremy Bentham's silent revolution
David, 1952, Bentham and the ethics of today : with Bentham manuscripts hitherto unpublished
Burns, J. H., 1962,
Jeremy Bentham and University College
Campos Boralevi, Lea, 1980, Jeremy Bentham, padre del femminismo
Boralevi, Lea, 1984, Bentham and the oppressed
Carrier, Richard, 1992, Guerres limitées et paix perpétuelle :
étude des rapports entre les caractéristiques de la guerre au XVIIIème siècle et les conceptions de la paix de l'abbé de Saint-Pierre,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jérémie Bentham et Emmanuel Kant
A Christie, Ian R., 1993, The Benthams in Russia, 1780-1791
James E., 1990, Secular utilitarianism : social science and the critique of religion in the thought of Jeremy Bentham
Lucio, 1981, Utilitarismo morale e scienza della legislazione : Studio su Jeremy Bentham
Davidson, William Leslie,
1915, Political thought in England: the Utilitarians from Bentham to J.S. Mill
Dillon, John Forrest, Bentham's
influence in the reforms of the nineteenth century
Dinwiddy, J. R., 1989, Bentham
Dube, Allison, 1991, The
theme of acquisitiveness in Bentham's political thought
El Shakankiri, Mohamed Abd-el-Hadi, 1970, La philosophie
juridique de Jeremy Bentham
Everett, Charles Warren, 1931, The education of Jeremy Bentham
Warren, 1966, Jeremy Bentham
Fagiani, Francesco, 1990, L'Utilitarismo classico da Bentham a Sidgwick
Philippe, Ost, François, Kerchove, Michel van de, Actualité de la pensée juridique de Jeremy Bentham
& Hendrik Jacobus Antoine, 1911, T Het sociale utilisme van Bentham
Guidi, Marco E. L., 1991, Il sovrano
e l'imprenditore : utilitarismo ed economia politica in Jeremy Bentham
Halévy, Elie, 1901, La formation du radicalisme
Halévy, Elie, 1928, The growth of philosophic radicalism
Harrison, Ross, Bentham
H. L. A., 1962, Bentham, Lecture on a master mind, British Academy; 1962
Hart, H. L. A., 1982, Essays on Bentham
: studies in jurisprudence and political theory
Have, H. ten, 1983, Geneeskunde en filosofie : de invloed van Jeremy
Bentham op het medisch denken en handelen
Hume, L. J., 1981, Bentham and Bureaucracy
Ikeda, Sadao, Otonashi,
Michihiro & Shigemori, Tamihiro, 1989, A Bibliographical catalogue of the works of Jeremy Bentham = Jeremii Bensamu
: chosaku kaidai mokuroka
James, M. H., 1973, Bentham and legal theory
Kayser, Elmer Louis, 1932, The
grand social enterprise, a study of Jeremy Bentham in his relation to liberal nationalism
Keeton, George Williams &
Schwarzenberger, Georg, 1948, Jeremy Bentham and the law, a symposium, ed. on behalf of the Faculty of Laws of University
Kelly, P. J., 1990, Utilitarianism and distributive justice: Jeremy Bentham and the civil law
Peter J., 1986, Utilitarian jurisprudence in America: the influence of Bentham and Austin on American legal thought in
the nineteenth century
Laval, Christian, 1994, Jeremy Bentham : le pouvoir des fictions
Lee, Keekok, 1990,
The legal-rational state : a comparison of Hobbes, Bentham, and Kelsen
Loche, Annamaria, 1991, Jeremy Bentham
e la ricerca del buongoverno
Milne, Alexander Taylor, 1937, Catalogue of the manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham in the
library of University college, London
Long, Douglas G., 1977, Bentham on liberty : Jeremy Bentham's idea of liberty
in relation to his utilitarianism
Long, Doug, 1981, The manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham : a chronological index to
the collection in the Library of University College London
Lyons, David, 1973, In the interest of the governed;
a study in Bentham's philosophy of utility and law
MacCunn, John, 1907, Six radical thinkers: Bentham, J.S. Mill,
Cobden, Carlyle, Mazzini, T.H. Green
Mack, Mary Peter, 1962, Jeremy Bentham : an Odyssey of ideas, 1748-1792
D. J., 1968, The mind of Jeremy Bentham
Mill, John Stuart, 1905, Dissertations and discussions
Stuart, 1950, On Bentham and Coleridge, With an introduction by F. R. Leavis.
Motta Vargas, Ricardo, 1996, Jeremías
Bentham en el origen del conservatismo y liberalismo : la polémica del siglo XIX-- utilitarismo inglés y catolicismo en la
formación del bipartidismo colombiano
Mulligan, Kevin & Roth, Robert, 1993, Regards sur Bentham et l'utilitarisme
: actes du colloque organisé à Genève les 23 et 24 novembre 1990 sous les auspices des Facultés de droit et des lettres
George Lyman, 1966, Benthamite reviewing : the first twelve years of the Westminster review, 1824-1836
K., 1932, Jeremy Bentham, 1832-2032; being the Bentham Centenary Lecture, delivered in University College, London, on June
6th, 1932; with notes and appendices
Ogden, C. K., 1932, Bentham's theory of fictions
Parekh, Bhikhu C.,
1974, Jeremy Bentham, ten critical essays
Phillipson, Coleman, 1923, Three criminal law reformers : Beccaria,
Postema, Gerald J., 1986, Bentham and the common law tradition
Preyer, Robert Otto, 1958,
Bentham, Coleridge, and the science of history
Rodríguez Braun, Carlos, 1989, La cuestión colonial y la economía
clásica : de Adam Smith y Jeremy Bentham a Karl Marx
Rosen, F., 1983, Jeremy Bentham and representative democracy:
a study of the Constitutional code
Rosenblum, Nancy L., 1978, Bentham's theory of the modern state
Janet, 1993, Bentham's prison: a study of the panopticon penitentiary
Steintrager, James, 1977, Bentham
Leslie, 1900. The English utilitarians
Stocks, J. L., 1933, Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832); the Samuel Hall oration
Twining, William L., 1985, Theories of evidence : Bentham and Wigmore
Waldron, Jeremy, 1987. 'Nonsense
upon stilts' : Bentham, Burke, and Marx on the rights of man
Whewell, William, 1862, Lectures on the history of
Williams, Alfred Tuttle, 1907, The concept of equality in the writings of Rousseau, Bentham, and
Williford, Miriam, 1980, Jeremy Bentham on Spanish America: an account of his letters and proposals to the
Zanuso, Francesca, 1989, Utopia e utilità : saggio sul pensiero filosofico-giuridico di Jeremy Bentham