Talk:Jeremy Bentham/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Lost

I'm going to remove the Lost reference for now, because it provides no helpful information, and a potential huge spoiler. Also I would suggest that it might be wise to lock up this article for a bit, because it's going to be swarmed by Losties. :P But I don't know how to do that myself. Salvar (talk) 23:40, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Hey hey, I'm a Lostie. Anyway, even though it's no longer a spoiler, I would think that John Locke (Lost) doesn't really belong in the See Also. He's relevant, but not *that* relevant. Millancad (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 07:29, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I have re-added the disambig text but modified it so that it doesn't give away who the actual character is to viewers who have not seen the finale episode yet; you have to click through to the episode article to actually come across that information. I also removed John Locke from the See Also section because it makes no sense to have it there with no explanation about he is linked to (the real) Jeremy Bentham. Paul1337 (talk) 16:33, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Does it need to be way at the top? I mean, Jeremy Bentham was a human being with a long life and important work. Lost is a TV show in its 4th year. If you're going to put it in the article, put it at the end. Better yet, there needs to be a disambiguation page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.215.160.199 (talk) 17:35, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
First, I just want to point out that at the moment there is no definite link between the real Jeremy Bentham (subject of this article) and the use of Jeremy Bentham as an alias by the character (John Locke) on Lost, although I think that this is obviously what the writers had in mind given that the character John Locke's name is itself a tribute to the philospher of the same name. That's why I think that a disambiguation link is the best thing for the moment. That being said, what do others think about adding a section called something like "References in popular culture" that mentions the (likely, but not proven) connection with Lost? -Paul1337 (talk) 18:45, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

There's no reason for this reference to be included. It could spoil the plot, and should be left out! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bionh (talkcontribs) 20:19, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Bionh, I re-added the reference to Lost to the article because it no longer refers to John Locke (which would be a spoiler for those in countries where the finale has not yet aired, I agree). If you don't agree that there should be a reference to Lost at all, then that's another issue and we can discuss that here. But I don't see how it's a spoiler as it is now. -Paul1337 (talk) 20:26, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I just took at look at Wikipedia:Content disclaimer where I found the concise disclaimer: “Wikipedia contains spoilers.” That being said, I see no need to mention John Locke’s name – just have a link to "There's No Place Like Home" or even Characters of Lost. –Fred Bradstadt (talk) 22:20, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Hey, good compromise there. Works out well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bionh (talkcontribs) 20:17, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Theory of Fictions

I greatly miss so far the discussion of Bentham and mention of his Theory of Fictions. The following quote is the opening passage of Benthan & Vaihinger compiled and edited by Frederick Mann.

``Jeremy Bentham formulated his very important "Theory of Fictions," which was compiled and edited into the book Bentham's Theory of Fictions by C. K. Ogden.`` -- http://www.buildfreedom.com/language/bentham.html

--KYPark 14:49, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree that there should be explicit discussion on Bentham's theory of fictions. See in this regard particularly Ross Harrison's book "Bentham". Dsp13 11:36, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Mr. Ripley

User:Baddog added the following description from 'Ripley's Believe It or Not';

Ripley's Believe It or Not Wonder Book of Strange Facts (1957) states the following on page 33: "It was in accordance with this last weird flare of his genius that his testament demanded that his head be severed from his body in the presence of his friends and placed in a separate glass case which now rests between his ankles, while a mask, a life-like replica of his living face, be placed upon his shoulders instead." As for the rest of his body, only the skeleton was preserved.

Which is fine, but unfortunately I'm not sure Mr. Ripley knew what he was talking about. Ripley seems to be describing the AutoIcon as he saw it in the 50s, not what was said in Bentham's will. The article already contains a good link to extracts from Bentham's will, which says;

...the bones are to be formed into a skeleton which after the head prepared in the manner already stated has been attached to it is to be dressed in the clothes usually worn by Mr Bentham & in this manner to be perpetually preserved.

Replacing the head with a wax replica (not a mask) was a solution of expedience after Bentham's death, as described in the article.

As such Ripley's description seems to be misinformation and I've removed it. -- Solipsist 8 July 2005 07:51 (UTC)

Pronouncing Bentham

I have only ever heard ['benθəm], never ['bentəm]. Presumably, ['bentəm] is historically correct, but any non-native speaker should surely be recommended to use ['benθəm] to reflect current usage? --stochata 09:32, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Since there have been no replies, and since the OED recommends the pronunciation of Benthamism as ['benθəˌmɪz(ə)m], I will change the entry to ['benθəm]. --stochata 22:08, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

The article on Bentham in Nationalencyklopdien considers ['bentəm] to be the correct pronunciation and in the internet version there is even a native speaker pronunciation using this pronunciation. I re-added ['bentəm] as an alternate pronunciation.
Peter Isotalo 13:27, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names says Bentham himself used the pronunciation [ˈbenθəm], so I have removed the other pronunciation. Timeineurope 15:25, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I bet he did.--86.31.105.33 (talk) 22:46, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

I am a native speaker of British English and a law graduate of University College London, with interests in philosophy. I have only ever heard ['benθəm], never ['bentəm]. So I've assumed my own authenticity for once and removed ['bentəm]. However, the English town Feltham is pronounced ['feltəm] - I've been there. That's English pronunciation for you. A German or Scandinavian might be likely to say ['bentəm], but I don't think Bentham would have had a germanic accent. --Wikiain (talk) 23:33, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Panopticon

The article says it was never built, which I know many sources suggest, but see Millbank Prison, which Bentham designed. (Just created it as it was on Wikipedia:Nuttall Encyclopedia topics). Justinc 00:10, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

I wonder whether the problem comes from the details of what really counts as a panopticon. I'm not really sure, but Bentham's design for the panopticon is a cylander with the cells arranged around the perimeter and observed from the centre. The description of Millbank Prison with its radially arranged corridors of cells, sounds similar to Pentonville (HM Prison) which is also often described as being based on the panopticon. However, they plausibly aren't really panopticons because they don't allow the central observer to see each cell individually. -- Solipsist 12:56, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes I wondered if it was a geometric thing, but I didnt have time to look at the drawings then. Also it is generally discussed as an idea rather than actually useful; all my references are about surveillence and art (Langlands & Bell etc). Just using the naked eye you couldnt make a very large prison like this. But as Bentham designed Millbank it is worth sorting out; I had some vague memory that Millbank wasnt in the literature quite by accident. But I have most of the reference material so will look Justinc 20:11, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
I know what you mean - much modern discussion of the Panopticon is wrapped on with discussion of a surveilance society. Today you could presumably quite easily achieve Bentham's aim by placing a CCTV camera in each cell and build a prison with any geometry you liked - in fact there quite probably are prisons like this. In any case, as you say the Millbank prison connection is interesting and warrants investigation. -- Solipsist 20:38, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm baffled as to why the article says that the Panopticon was never built. The Panopticon was built at Stateville Prison in Crest Hill, Illinois, just north of Joliet which is a suburb of Chicago. Four huge round cellblocks, each with four stories were built along with a round single story gym/mess hall. Only one of the roundhouses is still standing, along with the round gym/mess hall.

"Stateville Prison opened in 1925 with the capacity to house 1,506 inmates. Originally designed by criminologist Jeremy Bentham as a panopticon cell house, the structure was commonly known as a "roundhouse" that featured an armed tower in the center of an open area surrounded by cells. Stateville has the only remaining "roundhouse" still in use in the United States." http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/11144.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.217.35.16 (talk) 04:37, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Animal rights

Bentham was not for animal rights but for animal welfare. As an utilitarian, he considered the happiness and suffering of animals important in the same way as that of men. He did not think that animals have some particular rights: if the animal is as happy in a big cage with stimulating contents, then it is morally acceptable to have that animal in that cage. A similar divide exists between current animal activists. Therefore, animal rights should again be replaced by animal welfare. -- The preceding unsigned comment was added by 80.186.243.217 (talk • contribs) 16:38, 17 December 2005.

I don't know the precise ins and outs, but this comment makes a lot of sense to me. On the other hand, Bentham does appear to have been adopted by the modern animal rights loby — the animal rights article currently cites him for example — so I would need to do a bit more checking before making a change. Note also that the animal rights article includes a quote suggesting that Benthan did think animals should have rights. -- Solipsist 17:18, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
It is similar: compare the animal to a human, would Jeremy Bentham have been against putting a human child in a cage with stimulating contents (which would be more difficult to do considering the nature of humans, but still possible)?
I am not sure of how he saw "rights" in general, but it is true that, to be more specific, he was not for animal rights as much as for welfare.
--A Sunshade Lust 17:29, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
From the quotation given on the animal rights page, it sounds like "right" was used to mean "right to be protected by the law." He seems to advocate animal welfare more than animal rights--they can't become citizens, but they are entitled to similar benefits due to their ability to suffer, the same as a child or a mentally retarded adult. If someone else with more experience doesn't change it within a week or so, I'll try and do it myself.
--Therealhazel 04:03, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Bentham did not support animal rights; he was opposed to the concept of natural rights. From the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (which is one of the citations for the use of the term 'animal rights'): "The utilitarian position on animals, most commonly associated with Peter Singer and popularly, though erroneously, referred to as an animal rights position, is actually quite distinct." I have made the change. Pacey (talk) 22:54, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Animal rights does not necessarily imply natural rights. See Peter Singer, for example, arguably the founder of the modern animal rights movement, yet not himself a rights theorist. Bentham is strongly associated with the concept of animal rights, not animal welfare. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 23:03, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I apologise - I should have been clearer. What I was saying is that strident opposition to the concept of natural rights is not compatible with support of natural rights for animals. I agree that Bentham is strongly associated with the concept of animal rights, but this association is not supported by Bentham's work. Bentham argued that animals should be included in calculations of utility, not that they have inalienable rights. I think you are right to say that Bentham is commonly associated with the animal rights movement, and I will edit the page to reflect this. Pacey (talk) 00:05, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
With respect, I feel you're engaged in OR here. Do you have a source that shows he's associated with animal welfare? [1] SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:13, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
This, for example, is not an animal welfare position: "[t]he day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny." The idea of natural rights is not necessarily connected to the idea of human or non-human rights. They are two different ideas, which some people connect and others don't. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:15, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
And he wasn't "one of the earliest proponents of animal welfare." Sorry, Pacey, but you're making this factually incorrect. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:16, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
'Do you have a source that shows he's associated with animal welfare?' - I will add some references to Bentham's work when I can find my copy of the Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. The two sources which are currently there, after the first mention of animal welfare, contain some relevant information. The second source in particular is worth reading in full. From the first one:
"Jeremy Bentham changed the philosophies of many people by changing the way they looked at animals. Rather than regarding them as inferior to human beings because of their inability to reason, Bentham applied ethical utilitarianism to animals. He said that because animals suffered, their happiness was indeed relevant."
The same source describes utilitarianism as:
"the ethical theory... that an action is right if its results are superior to those of any other action. ... The basic idea is to generate the greatest possible amount of happiness among the greatest number. As time passed, this idea was refined to the belief that a society should 'maximize aggregate utility.'"
From the second source, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
"The utilitarian position on animals, most commonly associated with Peter Singer and popularly, though erroneously, referred to as an animal rights position, is actually quite distinct. ... Here the moral significance of the claims of animals depends on what other morally significant competing claims might be in play in any given situation. While the equal interests of all morally considerable beings are considered equally, the practices in question may end up violating or frustrating some interests but would not be considered morally wrong if, when all equal interests are considered, more of these interests are satisfied than frustrated." (emphasis added)
The article goes on to discuss the utilitarian arguments for and against the abolition of factory farming, before concluding that
"Importantly, the utilitarian argument for the moral significance of animal suffering in meat production is not an argument for vegetarianism. If an animal lived a happy life and was painlessly killed and then eaten by people who would otherwise suffer hunger or malnutrition by not eating the animal, then painlessly killing and eating the animal would be the morally justified thing to do. In many parts of the world where economic, cultural, or climate conditions make it virtually impossible for people to sustain themselves on plant based diets, killing and eating animals that previously led relatively unconstrained lives and are painlessly killed, would not be morally objectionable. The utilitarian position can thus avoid certain charges of cultural chauvinism and moralism, charges that the animal rights position apparently cannot avoid."
From the Wikipedia article on animal welfare:
"Animal welfare refers to the viewpoint that it is morally acceptable for humans to use nonhuman animals for food, in animal research, as clothing, and in entertainment, so long as unnecessary suffering is avoided. The position is contrasted with the animal rights position, which holds that other animals should not be used by, or regarded as the property of, humans."
Neither 'animal rights' nor 'animal welfare' prefectly describes Bentham's position. Any epithet we attach to his work must be the best available, given the sources available. I believe that the utilitarian position championed by Bentham is more compatible with the welfare moniker. Even if you disagree with this interpretation of the aforementioned sources, one of them explicitly states that this utilitarian position is erroneously referred to as an animal rights position. I don't have a problem with the article referring to animal rights, but the current sources don't support the use of that term. I think the more pertinent question is this: do you have any sources that support the use of the term animal rights?
I will respond to your other points later, but I'm running late. I'll chase up my copy of Bentham's work so I can put some direct citations in there (in particular, the quote you have referenced can only be understood in the broader context of Bentham's work). As a final point, you keep saying 'associated with' animal rights/welfare. I accept that Bentham is associated with animal rights, but there's a difference between being associated with a position and holding that position. Pacey (talk) 01:40, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be trying to work out yourself that he supported animal welfare. He didn't. He was a rights supporter, and he used the language of rights: "The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny." He argued that there is nothing morally significant about non-human animals that could justify withholding rights from them:

It may one day come to be recognised that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason?, nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?

This is the language of animal rights, not animal welfare. It was only natural rights that Bentham rejected, for human and non-humans alike. That shouldn't be confused with legal rights. He wrote: "Rights are the fruits of the law, and of the law alone." If you want to argue that he was an animal welfarist who did not in fact support giving animals legal rights, you'll need to produce a reliable source who says that. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:32, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

First radical?

"Bentham is the first and perhaps the greatest of the "philosophical radicals""

I disagree with this. George Berkeley came before Bentham, and most would agree that Berkeley was radical as hell. Am I just misunderstanding the sentence? Haddock420 19:23, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Auto-Icon

"As requested in his will, his body was preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet, termed his "Auto-Icon," at University College London. It has occasionally been brought out of storage at official functions so that his eccentric presence can live on."

This gives the impression that it is normally stowed away. In fact, the case containing the auto-icon is in an accessible part of the entrance lobby of University College. The heavy doors shown in the picture are normally open during the day, and the case is accompanied by a small exhibition.

I once saw a list of people who have had their bodies preserved in similar ways. I believe the list was on wikipedia. It would be good to have a link to such a list on this page. 195.195.177.137 (talk) R.E.D. —Preceding undated comment was added at 22:59, 12 November 2008 (UTC).

Not an atheist

I have removed the "Atheist philosophers" tag, per the following reference:

Bentham has been called "an atheist" or even a "militant atheist", but David Berman in his History of Atheism in Britain (1988, p. 192) writes that "it seems to be accepted that Bentham nowhere explicitly denies the existence of God, or describes himself as an atheist". [2] Runcorn 23:00, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
But then how did people get the Idea that Bentham was an atheist? And what was Bentham then? A christian, a deist, an agnostic?
Three possible reasons. 1: An atheist wanted to tag a philosopher as "one of the atheists," just as a Christian/Muslim/blah blah balh might want to tag an article for that reason. 2: Vandalism. 3: The opposite of 1. 98.198.83.12 (talk) 06:37, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Classical liberalism

I dispute that he was a classical liberal. Where do you see him advocating that the individual be protected from the will of the majority? He was a full out utilitarian. RJII 05:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I also dispute this. Read for example this article: http://stmarys.ca/~wmills/course203/5Liberalism.html. I consider him to be a reform liberal / social liberal.

mcduarte2000

Bentham was a philosophical radical. Their ideas were influential on the Whigs who then introduced Malthusian Poor Law reforms putting the onus on the individual to work or perish, in a free trade reaction against Tory paternalistic charity which to Malthusians just encouraged the poor to breed, so at that time the philosophical radicals seem to have influenced economic liberalism. A coming together of more socially liberal Whigs and "popular radicals" then produced the Liberal Party (UK) which is essentially social liberal, and from what I've read it seem clear that Bentham's subsequent influence was on Social Liberalism rather than economic liberalism. The common usage of "Classical liberalism" to mean economic liberalism confuses this issue. ...dave souza, talk 10:04, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Reversion of "Sex With Minors"

I read the Pederasty essay, trying to find Bentham's own definition of the word, and AFAICT, despite modern meaning of Pederasty as homosexual sex with minors his definition[3], which I quote:

"3. Of an object of the proper species but the wrong sex. This is distinguished from the rest by the name of paederasty. "

seems to me not to refer to minors at all. If someone knows better, please correct me. I am also researching his definition of 'usury'. Thanks, Crum375 16:11, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

The use of the term Usury

I added in the 'Defence of Usury' (DoU) reference, but I am not sure about just leaving in a direct usury link in the text as it can be misleading. Having read that DoU document, Bentham does seem to make a case for removing limits on interest rates, which is currently stated in the article. But today's modern definition of the word 'usury' is excessive or 'loan-shark'-type interest, associated with organized crime, etc. (The original definition of course was any interest at all.) I think all Bentham wanted to say (and I admit I did not fully read every word of his text) is that it is somewhat arbitrary to attach a negative connotation to a single threshold number - if you are below it you are OK, if you are above it you are immoral or a criminal. Using the word 'usury' alone in the text, even with the wiki-link, can be confusing to a reader who doesn't see the entire picture, IMO. But I am of course open to comments and critiques. Crum375 16:40, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Number of words produced

the number given is 5, 000, 0000

is this meant to be 5, 000, 000 or 50, 000, 000 - I intended the former and have changed it accordingly. Dsp13 15:37, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Plagiarism Alert

The text, "He was a child prodigy and was found as a toddler sitting at his father's desk reading a multi-volume history of England. He began his study of Latin at the age of three." comes directly off this page: UCL website. I can't think of a good way to re-phrase these two sentences... perhaps someone else has an idea on how to do so? --75.80.181.183 03:38, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I first rephrased, then decided the original phrasing plus clear citation is better. Crum375 03:59, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Foucault influence?

Perhaps there is more to the Foucault-Bentham connection than I know about, but as far as I'm aware it did not extend beyond Foucault spending a chapter critically analysing the Panopticon as a historical/cultural artefact... You can't really say this is an "influence". Would anyone list Adolf Hitler in the influence box for Hannah Arendt?! Illuminatingvision 11:03, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Seriously, I agree - Foucault explicitly criticises Bentham's ideas (or at least the mentality they represent) - to say that that Bentham 'influenced' him is not, therefore, really accurate.

Reversion of sodomy and pederasty

I changed this statement in the lede

the Decriminalisation of sodomy

to read

The decriminalisation of homosexuality

Instead of citing the primary source (Bentham's Offences Against One's Self) I quote a scholarly secondary source. Apparently "sodomy" (from the above talk discussion) was a replacement for "Sex with minors." This is a great example of why secondary sources are preferred or else you get interpretations of primary sources that are violations of original research and, in this case, inaccurate.

Secondly, I reverted this paragraph:

The essay Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty, which argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting same-sex attraction, construed by him as primarily pederastic,[1] remained unpublished during his lifetime for fear of offending public morality. It was finally published for the first time in 1978 (summer and fall issues of Journal of Homosexuality).

And rewrote it:

The essay Offences Against One's Self, argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting homosexuality. (Boralevi, Bentham and the Oppressed. p. 40) The essay remained unpublished during his lifetime for fear of offending public morality. It was finally published for the first time in 1931.(Boralevi, Bentham and the Oppressed. p. 37)

Again, the deleted version is original research, quoting a piece of the primary source. Plus the name of the essay was Offences Against One's Self and not Offences Against One's Self:Paedesasty. Boralevi argues:

Although Bentham dealt in detail with all kinds of these 'irregularities', the one which attracted most of his attention, and to which he devoted the greatest number of pages was homosexuality (or Paederastry, as he calls it). ... First of all he makes it clear that by paederasty he means sexual intercourse which takes place between two men, and in which 'the partners are both willing.' Again, his love for definitions and classifications ensures his escape from the 'confusion' generated by commonplaces.(Boralevi, Bentham and the Oppressed. p. 40)

I left the British spelling for consistency. SmallRepair 05:42, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

  • "decriminalisation of homosexuality" doesn't make a good fit with the "Offences ..." essay as it discusses the act of buggery (though in delicate and couched terms, it is clear I think) and not the act of being attracted sexually to someone, nor other activities which would come under the banner of homosexuality. Indeed I think it was anal intercourse between males which was illegal, sodomy is used variously to refer to lots of things not just anal intercourse. Use of the term pederasty is interesting in that Bentham gives a clear distinction that it is used to refer to anal intercourse between males and not in the literal sense of "erotic male activity with a boy". I would suggest that instead it be termed "decriminalisation of private homosexual acts", which whilst a little verbose is descriptive of Bentham's treatise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pbhj (talkcontribs) 14:16, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Priest-Penitent privilege

The Catholic Encyclopaedia [4] refers to an essay by Bentham Exclusion of the Evidence of a Catholic Priest, respecting the confessions entrusted to him, proper. There seems to be no other mention of this essay on the web. Can anyone provide an exact citation? Cutler 22:39, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

it was:
  • "Evidence that ought not to be admitted - Disclosure of Catholic Confession", Introductory View of the Rationale of Evidence, in Bowring, Works of Jeremy Bentham, VI, section 5, pp98-99
  • "Exclusion of evidence of a Catholic Priest, respecting the confessions intrusted to him, proper", Rationale of Judicial Evidence, in Bowring, Works of Jeremy Bentham, VII, Bk.IX, Pt.II, Ch.VI section 5, pp366-368.

Cutler 18:18, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

What was Bentham's religion?

Was he Christian? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.78.44.119 (talk) 11 August 2007

Collectivism

Without further context, the Hayek quote appears to have no connection to collectivism or individualism. In fact it is not clear at all what it refers to, except that Bentham wanted to base the law on reason. Please correct or remove.--Adoniscik (talk) 22:27, 13 December 2007 (UTC) i don't know —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.93.0.234 (talk) 21:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Legal positivism

The article doesn't say anything about Bentham's role as the pioneering legal positivist. His command theory of law is represented in every decent legal philosophy text book. Bentham's legal positivism is also important as a context for his utilitarian theory, since the legal system is seen as an instrument for social reform. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.149.156.195 (talk) 19:50, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Modern mummies?

Why is modern mummies linked? I believe that is spam. Intranetusa (talk) 18:58, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

No, Bentham requested that his body be mummified. He is currently on display at University College London. Measure for Measure (talk) 21:45, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

There is a photo of his preserved body here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.8.0.127 (talk) 04:46, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

He wrote a book called 'AutoIcon the use of the dead by the living ', or similar, and left his body UCL in an effort to encourage people to leave their corpses to medical science, which was frowned on at a time when 'burke and hare' were operating. The college however, had him stuffed and placed in a glass case. Even today, he is described in the minutes of some meetings as 'present but not voting'.

King's college students attempted to kidnap him in the early 80s for Rag Week after someone removed the testis from 'Reggie'-their College stone lion mascot. He looks rather like David Blane from one side:) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.69.85.3 (talk) 02:18, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation

Adding the entire table of contents of a work messes the balance of this article quite badly, I think. The external links already give this page, from which it is taken. Why not add the work to the Jeremy Bentham page at Wikisource instead? Stratford490 (talk) 23:55, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I really don't think it improves the article. It seems like having an article on Charles Dickens in which the first section recounts his biographical details, the second section discusses his literary output, and the third section gives the contents of David Copperfield

  1. I Am Born
  2. I Observe
  3. I Have a Change
  4. I Fall into Disgrace
  5. I Am Sent Away
  6. I Enlarge My Circle of Acquaintance
  7. My 'First Half' at Salem House
  8. My Holidays. Especially One Happy Afternoon
  9. I Have a Memorable Birthday

etc., etc., perhaps with a sentence or two summarizing what happens in each chapter. You have to wonder, why this particular work? If it's that important, there should be an article on that work, and the Bentham article should link to it.

I'm going to remove it. Please discuss here why you think it should be added before trying to put it back. Thanks. Stratford490 (talk) 00:20, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

This particular work is probably one of the most important in ethics/economics, and so I am highlighting the fundamental points of each section so that any student/scholar/person could easily access them. I suggest keeping it in, unless you would like to create an alternative page for it. Removing the headings would help the flow of the page, so I agree to that.Charlespeirce11 (talk) 00:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Why don't you create a separate page for it, since you're the one who is interested in emphasizing the importance of the work? The point is not that the work shouldn't be discussed and summarized, but rather that it shouldn't be done in a way that upsets the balance of the article about Bentham. Stratford490 (talk) 00:48, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I will create a separate page when I get a chance. I have never created a separate page, and Wiki recommends editing existing pages first. Since you removed it I suggest you create a separate page if you can't tolerate the wait.Charlespeirce11 (talk) 00:55, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Birth date

He was born 4 years before the Gregorian calendar was brought into use in Britain. I assume that "15 February 1748" was the date in the Julian calendar, and would translate to 26 February in the Gregorian. No? -- JackofOz (talk) 08:53, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Body donation

Interesting quote that can be integrated "His [Bentham's] was the first corpse to be donated voluntarily to a medical school for dissection" Capaldi's John Stuart Mill: A biography, page 117.--droptone (talk) 23:46, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I really think this article should mention that his skeleton is still on display with a wax head preserved in a wood-and-glass cabinet known as the Auto-Icon. It now resides at University College London. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.8.0.127 (talk) 04:43, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

He looks like David Blane in his cabinet -see 'mummy' section above for a photograph of his skin —Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.69.85.3 (talk) 02:23, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

The wax portrait suggests a much sunnier and more benevolent disposition than the one currently heading the article, but I remain undecided as to which is thereby more accurate(?). Was the actual skull or its dimensions used in the making of the former?--86.31.105.33 (talk) 22:53, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Utilitarianism & 'greatest good of the greatest number'

There is a lot of confusion around this, despite it being standard philosophy fare. The key and definitive 'greatest good of the greatest number' catchphrase is attributed to John Stuart Mill in the John Stuart Mill article, which, if correct, would seem to suggest a significant updating, modification and (arguably) radicalisation of Bentham's Utilitarianism by the latter. You can't have it both ways.--86.31.105.33 (talk) 10:36, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

fact check

I happened upon your Jeremy Bentham page and in the second paragraph it states that he argued in favor of usury. I am not a pedant and have not read much that Jeremy Bentham has written, yet it seems strange to me that he would have favored usury. 71.142.253.101 (talk) 08:03, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Animal rights

Bentham only ever wrote about a dozen words on 'animal rights', so it seems more than a little odd that it should be given such prominence in the introduction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 144.82.107.47 (talk) 15:54, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

There is an "Animal rights" section above. Please delete this section and then contribute there if you like, signing your post. --Wikiain (talk) 20:59, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
    • ^ "A connection with a woman may by accident be followed with disgust, but a connection of the other kind, a man must know, will for certain come in time to be followed by disgust. All the documents we have from the antients relative to this matter, and we have a great abundance, agree in this, that it is only for a very few years of his life that a male continues an object of desire even to those in whom the infection of this taste is at the strongest. The very name it went by among the Greeks may stand instead of all other proofs, of which the works of Lucian and Martial alone will furnish any abundance that can be required. Among the Greeks it was called Paederastia, the love of boys, not Andrerastia, the love of men. Among the Romans the act was called Paedicare because the object of it was a boy." Bentham, op.cit.