An introduction to the principles of morals and legislation / by Jeremy Bentham

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Synopsis

First published in 1789, Jeremy Bentham's best-known work remains a classic of modern philosophy and jurisprudence. Its definitions of the foundations of utilitarian philosophy and its groundbreaking studies of crime and punishment retain their relevance to modern issues of moral and political philosophy, economics, and legal theory.
Based on the assumption that individuals seek pleasure and avoid pain, Bentham's utilitarian perspective forms a guide to moral decision-making. With the "greatest happiness of the greatest number" as his objective, the author attempts to identify the sources and varieties of pleasure and pain as well as the ways in which they can be measured in assessing moral options. Considerations of intentionality, consciousness, motives, and dispositions support Bentham's arguments. The text concludes with his survey of purpose and the role of law and jurisprudence, a fascinating exercise in the theory of social reform that explores conflicts between the interests of the majority and individual freedom.
 

About Jeremy Bentham

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Jeremy Bentham was born in London, in 1748, the son of an attorney. He was admitted to Queen's College, Oxford, at age 12 and graduated in 1763 An English reformer and political philosopher, Bentham spent his life supporting countless social and political reform measures and trying as well to create a science of human behavior. He advocated a utopian welfare state and designed model cities, prisons, schools, and so on, to achieve that goal. He defined his goal as the objective study and measurement of passions and feelings, pleasures and pains, will and action. The principle of "the greatest happiness of the greatest number," set forth in his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, governed all of his schemes for the improvement of society, and the philosophy he devised, called utilitarianism, set a model for all subsequent reforms based on scientific principles.
 
Published December 28, 2007 by Evergreen Review, Inc.. 416 pages
Genres: History, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference, Religion & Spirituality, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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