This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Jeremy Bentham Essay

575 words - 3 pages

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
Born February 15, 1748, Jeremy Bentham, was an English philosopher, economist and theoretical jurist, the earliest and chief expounder of utilitarianism. (Plamentaz, 2013) He was the first to produce a utilitarian justification for democracy with much to say about prison reform, religion, poor relief, international law and animal welfare. As a visionary well before his time he also advocated universal suffrage and the decimalization of homosexuality. (Plamentaz, 2013)
At the early age of three Jeremy Bentham was a child prodigy, reading multi volumes on the history of England. The first school he attended was Westminster and from there went on to Queen’s college where he received his degree in 1763. He then studied law at Lincoln’s Inn. At Lincoln’s Inn he spent more time conducting chemical experiments than reading law ...view middle of the document...

It was obvious when looking at his main criticisms of the law that his method was analytical and empirical. Bentham’s moral philosophy clearly reflects his psychological view that the primary motivators of human beings are pleasure and pain. Bentham admits that his version of the principal 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. (Who was Jeremy Bentham?, 1999-2014) There has been some debate over the extent to which the rights that Bentham defends are 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. (Who was Jeremy Bentham?, 1999-2014)
Even for those who have never read a line of Bentham, he will always be associated with the doctrine of Utilitarianism and the principle of the greatest happiness of the greatest number. His ideas were to reform public administration and his writings are still debated academically especially as regards to social policy, legal positivism and welfare economics. His works are still being researched at the University College London in the Bentham Project which was set up in the early 1960s with the goal of producing a scholarly edition of his works and correspondence. It is projected it will be a total of seventy volumes.

Works Cited
Plamentaz, J. P. (2013, 10 23). Jeremy Bentham (1748—1832). Retrieved 08 29, 2014, from Encyclopedia Brittanica:
Sweet, W. (n.d.). Jeremy Bentham (1748—1832). Retrieved 08 30, 14, from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Who was Jeremy Bentham? (1999-2014). Retrieved 08 30, 2014, from UCL Bentham Project:

Other Papers Like Jeremy Bentham

Classical Criminology and Imprisonment Essay

1464 words - 6 pages investigate a number of social and individual issues pertaining to the causes of crime, law and punishment. Classical criminology refers to a period of time known as the Enlightenment during the 18th century. The classical school was body of ideas with regards to the restructure and reform of punishment in the 18th century (Hyland, Gomez & Greensides, 2003) by a group of European philosophers and scholars, including Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham

Utilitarian Ethics Essay

2077 words - 9 pages Abstract Ethics are a set of acceptable principles that guide the way individuals should act in a given situation. Utilitarian Ethics is morally right acts that bring the most happiness to individuals. For instance, utilitarian ethics main focus is happiness and what decision will produce the maximum amount of happiness for everyone involved. Jeremy Bentham believed that individuals were governed by two masters, which are pleasure and pain

Examine the Differences Between Act and Rule Utilitarianism' (21 Marks)

1121 words - 5 pages Utilitarianism is a theory that some people adhere to the belief that the moral significance of an action is determined by its outcome. They believe that the greatest pleasure of the greatest number of people should be the result of the action that you make which will render it morally right. Jeremy Bentham was an ionic philosopher who believed 'an act is right or good if it produces pleasure and evil if it leads to pain'. Principle

Death And Justice: How Capital Punishment Affirms Life

718 words - 3 pages . The best that he came up with was, "The biblical viewpoint has been upheld by philosophers throughout history" (Koch 197). He does go on to name some "great thinkers," but he never proves what they supposedly said or why they said it. He names another man by the name of Jeremy Bentham and describes him as ambivalent, but that is all. He forgets to inform us, the average college student, just exactly who Jeremy Bentham is, what he does, (or did

Philosophy Q&A

815 words - 4 pages Question: Assess the influence of classical liberal political philosophy upon the structure and function of the present day Canadian Government. Thesis: Classical Liberalism, started by John Locke, and continued by philosophers such as Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Montesquieu, Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill were passed through Britain’s Government into the Canadian Government, who has been influenced by all of the philosophers mentioned


710 words - 3 pages again. He has a month to live with his heart issue. If we use J Mill and J Bentham theory on this he would not be an ideal candidate. He will be very selfish and start the addiction again and the heart will be useless. He does not benefit from this at all and will be passed on from this procedure. I will conclude this theory with one thing in mind its using the ethical theory by John Mill and Jeremy Bentham. When solving dilemmas like this and

Forms Of Utilitarianism

956 words - 4 pages Shaw and Barry distinguish two different forms of utilitarianism. What are these two forms? Briefly describe each. The first form of utilitarianism was a view by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. They viewed utilitarianism as that a person’s actions are right if they create the most pleasure, and wrong if they do not. Both men believed that pleasure and happiness were equal and considered it the ultimate value. They thought of

Egoism and Utilitarianism

1168 words - 5 pages ) Utilitarianism is another normative ethical theory that proposes we act morally when in any given circumstance; the right act is the one that produces the most “happiness” for all creatures capable of facing well or poorly, from now onward into the indefinite future. English philosophers John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) were the leading proponents of what is now called Utilitarianism. Jeremy Bentham was a British reformer

'Evaluating Utilitarianism' - What Are The Main Features Of Utilitarianism As An Ethical Theory? Examine And Consider Criticisms That Have Been Made Against Utilitarianism

2266 words - 10 pages 19th century thinker, Jeremy Bentham devised the utilitarian theory, encompassing the belief that human beings were motivated by the pathos of pleasure and pain. He believed that all humans sought out pleasure, whilst seek to avoid pain and that the moral result of an action could be deliberated in terms of pleasure and happiness. This belief that the main motivation for humans is pleasure is widely known as Hedonism, from the Greek word for


1606 words - 7 pages Outline important concepts of Utilitarianism. (21) Utilitarianism is a theory which denotes actions that are right and wrong from there consequences. There are three types of Utilitarianism, act, rule and preference. Act Utilitarianism was initially developed by the theorist and psychological hedonist, Jeremy Bentham who believed that our main aim in life was to achieve 'happiness' and avoid 'pain'. He wanted to produce a different

The Nature of Good Life

2185 words - 9 pages threatening man for his obedience. This justification is not the belief of all men for in Jeremy Bentham’s moral philosophy, we must rely more on an observers’ view of the human race. Bentham believes that happiness of the individual, derived from experiencing pleasure, will lead to the utmost good for the masses. This belief is devoid of a celestial plan which leaves the ethical decision to the individual in the path that he must take. Secular

Related Essays

Jeremy Bentham Essay

578 words - 3 pages job, this action would cause pain and lack of money which would lead to lack of pleasure. This view came from Jeremy Bentham. ( DeGeorge 44-46) Jeremy Bentham (1784-1832) was an advocate of utilitarianism and has been referred to as the founder or father of utilitarianism. He was born in London into a wealthy family of lawyers. He was a child prodigy that began studying Latin at the age of 3. By the time he was 21 he had earned various degrees

Jeremy Bentham Essay

1115 words - 5 pages pleasure and pain. Therefore Jeremy is a Hedonist. A hedonist is someone motivated by desires for sensual pleasures. He believed that all human beings would pursue to find pleasure and would avoid pain. This to him was a moral fact as the pleasure and pain showed what we humans should and shouldn’t do. Bentham being a hedonist he believed that pleasure was good and pain was bad, in fact it was evil. This is why his utilitarianism theory was called

Utilitarianism Essay

1024 words - 5 pages Explain the main features of the theory of Utilitarianism The theory of Utilitarianism takes its name from the Latin word Utilis, meaning ‘useful’. It was first developed by Jeremy Bentham, a philosopher and legal theorist of the 18th century. Bentham sought to produce a modern and rational approach to morality which would suit the changing society of the industrial age. Utilitarianism may be regarded as a relativist and teleological system

Happiness Essay

680 words - 3 pages philosophers Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Immanuel Kant all agreed to Aristotle’s belief that virtue is necessary to attain happiness. It is the role of virtue in attaining happiness and what constitutes virtue or morality that is the issue that is disputed. Jeremy Bentham believed in the pleasure and pain principle which was that happiness was identified with pleasure and with an absence of pain. He believe all people should seek happiness and